'UK war crime arrests may need approval'

UK war crime arrests to

December 17, 2009 10:15
1 minute read.


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A plan is being devised by the British Foreign Office which would require attorney-general approval before any war criminal suspect wanted on a UK warrant can be arrested the British newspaper, the Guardian reported on Thursday. The report comes after a UK court issued an arrest warrant for opposition leader Tzipi Livni on charges of war crimes. The possible change in law which would protect visiting foreign leaders to the UK from arrest is apparently supported by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. According to the report, the intervention of the executive has sparked anger among attorneys and pro-Palestinian groups. The paper quoted solicitor Daniel Machover as saying, "I feel honest revulsion at the idea of a case where a judge has granted an arrest warrant and a politician gets on the phone and apologizes." Senior Israeli diplomatic officials told counterparts in the British Foreign Office on Wednesday that Israel would issue directives to the country's political and military leaders to stop visiting Britain if parliament did not take action to close the legal loophole that enabled an arrest warrant to be issued against Livni last weekend. The warning came even as Brown phoned Livni on Wednesday and, according to Livni's office, said he was "completely opposed" to the issuing of the arrest warrant, and that she would be welcome in Britain anytime. Brown - like Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who called Livni the day before - promised to work to change the legal situation that has led to the harassment of Israeli leaders in Britain. Herb Keinon contributed to this report

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