Norwegian lawyers: Extradite Olmert, Livni, Barak

6 lawyers to file complaint against former PM, former FM, defense minister, top IDF brass over "Gaza war crimes."

olmert solemn 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
olmert solemn 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Six Norwegian lawyers plan to file a complaint against former prime minister Ehud Olmert and other top officials for "war crimes" allegedly perpetrated by Israel during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza at the beginning of the year. The lawyers plan to file their complaint with Norway's chief prosecutor on Wednesday, AFP reported. The lawyers said they would call for the arrest and extradition of Olmert as well as former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and seven senior IDF officers. Under the Norwegian penal code, courts may hear cases involving suspected war crimes and other major violations of human rights allegedly committed in other countries. In a statement, the lawyers accused Israel of "massive terrorist attacks" in the Gaza Strip between December 27 of 2008 and January 25 of this year, killing civilians, illegally using weapons against civilian targets and deliberately attacking hospitals and medical staff. "There can be no doubt that these subjects knew about, ordered or approved the actions in Gaza and that they had considered the consequences of these actions," the statement says. The statement also said the lawyers were representing a number of people living in Norway. "It involves three people of Palestinian origin living in Norway and 20 families who lost loved ones or property during the attack," one of the lawyers, Kjell Brygfjeld, told AFP. When questioned on the chances of the case reaching court, fellow lawyer Harald Stabell said: "If we do nothing, it is more likely that a similar attack will happen again in the future." "In our eyes, the political aspect is less important than the preventive aspect," he added when asked if the move could hinder Norwegian diplomacy in the region. Israel's embassy in Oslo said it was unaware of the lawyers' attempt to bring the war crimes charges and could not immediately comment. Palestinian sources claim 1,300 Palestinian were killed in Operation Cast Lead, most of them civilians. An Israeli investigation named more than 800 of those killed as known terror operatives.