Israel's Amir Peretz avoids UK arrest warrant

By Jennifer Lipman, July 6, 2011
Amir Peretz

Amir Peretz

The former Israeli defence minister managed to foil anti-Israel activists who sought his arrest while he was in London last weekend.

Knesset member and former Labour leader Amir Peretz pretended to cancel a scheduled speech at a university.

But according to Ynet the email he sent pulling out of the event was a double-bluff and intended to stop the activists from approaching him with an arrest warrant for his involvement in the Lebanon War. Although it worked initially, Mr Peretz was still forced to cut his stay short.

Mr Peretz refused to countenance cancelling the speech and his visit to London on the basis that it would be admitting defeat.

The coalition government pledged to change the law on universal jurisdiction when they took office.

In December "a requirement for the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions to be given before an arrest warrant can be issued in a private prosecution for offences of universal jurisdiction" was included in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill.

Last updated: 11:18am, July 6 2011