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Bin Laden sons wonder why their father didn't get a trial

Omar bin Laden issued a statement Tuesday on behalf of the bin Laden family questioning why his father didn't receive a court trial like Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milošević.

By Correspondent / May 11, 2011

Assertions from Osama bin Laden's family that the killing of the Al Qaeda leader was illegal have been dismissed by the White House.

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Are you kidding?” said Vice President Joe Biden when asked Tuesday about the family's calls for international bodies to investigate the legality of the assassination.

In fact, the family is serious.

International law has been "blatantly violated" and the US has set a very different example than "innocent until proven guilty" – a right upon which "western society is built," wrote Omar bin Laden, one of the 9/11 mastermind's 19 children, in a statement provided to the New York Times. He cited the trials for former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević and asked why his father was not given the same opportunity to defend himself.

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In the statement, the bin Laden family members called on the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and the United Nations to provide answers, and threatened legal action if their request was ignored. The letter notes that just as Omar publicly criticized his father's use of violence, so too would he and his brothers now "condemn the president of the United States for ordering the execution of unarmed men and women."

The bin Laden family also criticized the US for firing on unarmed people in the compound during the raid and for burying Osama bin Laden at sea instead of notifying the family to conduct a proper burial. The letter called on Pakistan to release all the family members in custody.

White House on defensive

The White House has shrugged off the young bin Laden's grievances.

An unnamed US official told Bloomberg News that because Al Qaeda had declared war on the US, Osama bin Laden was deemed an enemy combatant. The official cited Article 51 of the UN charter, which allows a nation to act in self defense.


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