Will Assad claim insanity at The Hague? In one of those moments that make time standstill, a Jordanian delegation of 18 activists visiting Assad in Damascus heard him, quoting from al-Quds al-Arabi, say:
My guess is that his 11-year rule of barbaric repression, torturing of children, killing of innocent Syrians, raping of women, and systematic targeting of civilians had nothing to do with him. It is all the fault of the Americans and the Jews! Why can’t we just figure it out? Will Assad claim insanity at The Hague?
Assad still believes he and Iran can continue to harness the Salafists to serve their savagery as they did in Iraq.
Could Assad be preparing himself for an insanity plea should he one day face the International Criminal Court? The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court does provide for such a defense in accordance with Article 31(1)(a), which says that a person shall not be held criminally responsible if, at the time of that person’s conduct:
During the Yugoslavia hearings, the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal did uphold that the mental disease defense is only admissible in two circumstances:
(1) in case of impairment of the accused’s capacity to appreciate the unlawfulness of or the nature of his conduct; or
(2) in case of an impairment to control his conduct in order to conform to the requirements of the law.
The statute however requires a destruction of mental capacity for the Article 31(1)(a) insanity defense to apply. How to define “destruction of mental capacity” would simply become a legal battle and Assad may simply be preparing for that day.
Never underestimate the cunning calling themselves insane.