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Ex-UN Rapporteur Reveals 8 Ways Int'l Nord Stream Probe Can Be Pursued Despite UNSC Stonewalling

© Photo : Swedish Coast GuardGas leak location on Nord Stream 2
Gas leak location on Nord Stream 2  - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2023
The failure of a Russian-Chinese Security Council resolution to set up an international probe into the Nord Stream attacks is not the end of the road, and Moscow has over half a dozen avenues to pursue the matter, both at the UN and at other venues, says Dr. Alfred de Zayas, a former UN rapporteur and veteran expert on international law.
Moscow expressed confidence Tuesday that the truth about the Nord Stream explosions would eventually “break through” in spite of the United Nations Security Council’s failure to adopt a Russian-Chinese resolution demanding a formal international investigation into the sabotage.

“Any tribunal would convict the US on the basis of the available information today, a fortiori in the absence of any credible evidence to the contrary. In the United States, any grand jury would find that the evidence already in the public domain suffices to indict the suspect for the crime and open formal criminal proceedings,” de Zayas told Sputnik.

The resolution received support from Russia, China, and Brazil. The US, the UK, France, and rotating Security Council members Albania, Gabon, Ghana, Malta, Mozambique, the UAE, Switzerland, Ecuador, and Japan abstained. Russian Deputy Permanent representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy told Sputnik the resolution failed thanks to “big pressure” on the part of the West.
Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose bombshell reporting revealed that US Navy divers assisted by the Norwegian military were responsible for the pipelines’ destruction, said he was not at all surprised the resolution failed. “What else did you think they would do? If they did do anything else that would be news,” Hersh told Sputnik.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2023
Nord Stream Sabotage
Kremlin Regrets UNSC Not Adopting Resolution on Nord Stream Investigation
De Zayas characterized Hersh’s reporting as “thorough, coherent and prima facie credible,” and said his investigations “constitute a solid basis to commence an independent international investigation, which would require the consent of those countries whose territorial sovereignty extends over the area where the explosions took place, namely Sweden and Denmark.”

Unfortunately, the legal expert said, Sweden has so far stonewalled on the issue and hasn’t shared its own probe’s findings with the UN. “Sweden’s silence can only be interpreted as a cover-up, because the consequences of revealing proof of US violation of Swedish and Danish sovereignty, and the colossal violation of international law and the laws of war, would have exploded NATO in the same way as the US exploded the pipelines,” he suspects.

The international legal expert emphasized that to be credible, any probe by the Nordics into the Nord Stream attacks will have to be open to all interested parties, including Russia. Otherwise, “bearing in mind that all three countries have ganged up against Russia, the great danger is that their investigations might be a cover-up or a white-wash operation.”

8 Tools at Russia's Disposal

Luckily, de Zayas says, there are a number of avenues Russia and other countries can pursue at the international level. These include:
For starters, countries could turn to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which gives all persons the right to access information, and to seek and impart information of all kinds, particularly when the information withheld concerns criminal acts such as terrorism.
Secondly, de Zayas notes, because the Security Council has failed to establish an international Commission of Inquiry, or Fact-finding Mission – tools for examining potential serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, the General Assembly may do so. “The General Assembly should go beyond the mere condemnation of the Nord Stream sabotage and adopt a resolution under Article 96 of the UN Charter requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the question of the legal consequences of the blowing up of the pipelines, in particular the civil and penal liabilities involved,” the lawyer explained.
Third, the legal expert says, since the Nord Stream explosions fall under the definition of international terrorism, they are under the remit of the UN’s Vienna Office on Drugs and Crime, which should conduct its own investigation.
Fourth, de Zayas argues, an investigation could be started by the UN’s Environmental Program office in Nairobi, given that its purview extends to investigating the adverse ecological impacts the blasts may have had on fisheries in the Baltic Sea.
Fifth, de Zayas proposes filing a so-called “inter-state complaint” under Article 41 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, saying violations of Articles 1, 2, 6, 19, and 26 of the document could be argued.
Sixth, the lawyer says the UN’s Human Rights Council could set up a Fact Finding Mission to investigate “the adverse human rights impacts in the region and the world” of the Nord Stream blasts, “as indeed, the attack on energy supplies has widespread consequences, especially for the enjoyment of economic and social rights.”
Seventh, there are the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council – independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights matters, which have their own avenues for investigating the Nord Stream attacks. “Surely it is within the remit of three Rapporteurs – the Rapporteur on Terrorism, the Rapporteur on the Right to Truth, Justice, and Reparation, and the Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression” to investigate, de Zayas suggested.
Finally, the expert suggests that Russia and other countries could argue the Nord Stream attacks constitute a violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. “And even if the US never ratified [the treaty], nothing stops the UNCLOS Secretariat from establishing a working group to study the implications of the sabotage of undersea pipelines,” he explained.
Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, speaks during a Security Council meeting on the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, at United Nations headquarters - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2023
West Applied Huge Pressure Ahead of UNSC Vote on Nord Stream Probe Resolution, Polyanskiy Says

‘Double Standards’

De Zayas stressed that the failure of the UNSC to condemn the terrorist sabotage of Nord Stream in the same way it condemned the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001 signals “the application of double-standards.”
“The silence of the UN with regard to the terrorist sabotage of Nord Stream is as deafening as its silence with regard to the 40 US biolabs in Ukraine,” the lawyer said.
Fortunately, de Zayas argues, pressure on the US is building, not least because of US officials’ proven hostility to Russian pipeline infrastructure long before it was destroyed.

“It was certainly careless of Joe Biden to have threatened that if Russia invaded Ukraine, Nord Stream would be no more. This was repeated by officials of the State Department. Moreover, the US had already done everything in its power to frustrate the completion of Nord Stream II, as evidenced by the illegal unilateral coercive measures imposed on businesses throughout the world to intimidate enterprises such as the Dutch-Swiss Allseas and a Swiss insurance company with colossal penalties. Such actions were illegal, constituted interference in the internal affairs of states and illegal extraterritorial application of US laws, but the world somehow tolerated them. Still they contribute to the growing legal dossier against the US,” de Zayas concluded.

Seymour Sy Hersh - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2023
Hersh Not Surprised by UNSC Not Adopting Resolution for Probe of Nord Stream Attack
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