Universal Jurisdiction

Muslim anger over war-crime law pledge

By Simon Rocker, December 30, 2009

The Muslim Council of Britain has protested to Foreign Secretary David Miliband over plans to change the law to prevent the arrest of Israeli politicians visiting Britain.

MCB general secretary Muhammad Abdul Bari wrote of the council’s “deep disappointment” and “grave concern” at the government’s position following former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s cancellation of a visit to Britain last month.

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Miliband attacked by Muslim leaders over Livni

By Leon Symons, December 23, 2009

The Muslim Council of Britain has attacked Foreign Secretary David Miliband for saying he would change the law of universal jurisdiction in the wake of the Tzipi Livni arrest warrant row.

In a long letter to Mr Miliband, MCB general secretary Mohammad Abdul Bari said: “We regret to have to say that the process that the government appears to have chosen to follow on this issue is fundamentally flawed.”

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Livni crisis deepens as Israel bans UK visits

By Anshel Pfeffer, Marcus Dysch and Martin Bright, December 17, 2009

The Israeli government’s fury at the arrest warrant issued for the former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni has culminated in a threat to end all ministerial visits to Britain. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the UK government that this would apply even to those not at risk of arrest, until the UK government changes the law allowing private citizens to bring charges against senior Israelis for war crimes.

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Israel vice premier cancels UK trip after arrest fears

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon has cancelled a trip to London to speak at a JNF charity dinner over fears he may face arrest for war crimes.

Former IDF chief-of-staff Mr Ya’alon said the trip was “cancelled to avoid playing into the hands of anti-Israel propaganda” after the attempted arrest of Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak when he visited the UK last week.

He is believed to have sought legal advice before accepting the invitation to speak at the JNF event on behalf of Benji's Home, a charity for Israeli soldiers with no family in the country.

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Barak arrest warrant is rejected by judge

By Jessica Elgot, September 30, 2009

A judge has rejected a Palestinian group’s application to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, who is in the UK this week.

Deputy District Judge Daphne Wickham at Westminster Magistrates Court said: “I am satisfied that under customary international law, Mr Barak has immunity from prosecution as he would not be able to perform his functions efficiently if he were the subject of criminal proceedings in this jurisdiction.”

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Barak urged to leave the UK after arrest fears

By Jessica Elgot, September 29, 2009

Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak has been urged to flee the UK after two Palestinian groups applied for a warrant for his arrest.

Two unnamed groups, which represent a total of 16 people, have sought to obtain an international arrest warrant for alleged war crimes committed by Mr Barak.

Solicitors for one of the groups, Irvine Thanvi Nataz, submitted the request for the warrant to Westminster Magistrates today.

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Colonel’s UK tour halted by arrest fear

By Leon Symons Marcus Dysch and Anshel Pfeffer, February 5, 2009

An Israeli reserve colonel who came to speak in Britain last week was forced to return home.

The officer, Geva Rapp, a deputy commander of Israel’s Gaza offensive, was scheduled to speak to mainly student audiences during a six-day visit.

But his tour came to an abrupt end after details of last Thursday’s event at the London Jewish student centre leaked out on the internet.

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