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The Trial of Prisoner 043    by Terry Jastrow order for
Trial of Prisoner 043
by Terry Jastrow
Order:  USA  Can
Four Springs Press, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Terry Jastrow's The Trial of Prisoner 043 postulates a very unlikely scenario - that former US president George W. Bush, golfing in St. Andrews, Scotland, would be abducted by paramilitary commandos and taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, to be tried for war crimes in Iraq.

That being said, the trial itself is engrossing, not so much as a piece of fiction, but as an analysis of the background to the US decision in 2003 to wage war against Saddam Hussein. The issues of weapons of mass destruction - and the failure to find any - are addressed, as are the unintended consequences of the war, that we are still dealing with today.

The Court selects an American, Michael McBride, as prosecutor, along with Iraqi attorney Nadia Shahid, who has a personal reason for wanting to see Bush convicted. The defense team is led by Edward Jamison White III, and includes Meredith Lott and Jonathan Ortloff. Readers see both sides develop their courtroom arguments and examine high profile US witnesses, as well as Iraqis affected by the war. Media reactions are credibly portrayed as well.

Though the conclusion of The Trial of Prisoner 043 seemed to me something of a cop-out, I found the discussion that preceded it - and the insights into the operation of the International Criminal Court - both educational and informative.

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