War crimes

Ami Ayalon to visit UK, despite arrest threat

March 5, 2010

The former head of Israel’s secret service, Shin Bet, Ami Ayalon, has expressed his determination to take part in a debate next week at the London School of Economics.

Mr Ayalon, formerly a government minister and ex-head of the Israeli navy, is due to speak at LSE on Monday evening as part of a public discussion entitled “The Goldstone Report and the Peace Process”.

He is due to speak alongside Christine Chinkin and Desmond Travers, who were on the panel of the UN Goldstone Report, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, which found both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes.

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Brown: I'll change war crime arrest law

By Martin Bright, February 25, 2010

Gordon Brown has personally intervened to unblock the logjam over a change in the law that allows local magistrates to issue arrest warrants for visiting foreign politicians accused of war crimes.

The JC understands the Prime Minister is determined to press ahead with the law change before the election.

Last December, Foreign Secretary David Miliband promised to amend legislation after a warrant was issued for former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni over her role in planning Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

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Tories tell Livni: we’ll change 'arrest' law

By Martin Bright, February 18, 2010

Senior Conservatives have assured opposition leader Tzipi Livni that a Tory government would change the law that allows magistrates to issue arrest warrants for foreign politicians accused of war crimes.

Shadow business secretary Ken Clarke and shadow attorney general Edward Garnier met her in Israel as part of a party charm offensive.

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Jack Straw: No deal over war crimes law

By Jessica Elgot, February 12, 2010

The Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, has denied that pressure from Muslim leaders is to blame for his lack of action on war crimes legislation.

Mr Straw has faced allegations that legislation needed to prevent magistrates issuing arrest warrants for Israeli politicians travelling to Britain, has been delayed because of pressure from the Muslim Council of Britain and from the sizeable Muslim population of Mr Straw’s Blackburn constituency.

A spokesman for Mr Straw said: "Suggestions have been made in media reports that Jack has been lobbied on this issue by Muslim leaders.

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JLC pushes Straw on warrants

By Martin Bright and Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010

The Jewish Leadership Council has written the second letter in as many weeks requesting an urgent meeting with Justice Secretary Jack Straw to discuss the delay in introducing legislation to prevent magistrates from issuing arrest warrants for alleged war criminals.

The JLC first wrote to the Ministry of Justice on January 28 to request urgent talks to discuss why the government had failed to announce the reform.

A new letter, written jointly with the Board of Deputies, was sent on Tuesday, but at the time of going to press, there was no response from Mr Straw.

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Tzipi Livni: I'm coming to Britain

By Stephen Pollard and Martin Bright, February 3, 2010

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni is planning to come to London to test the process for the issuing of arrest warrants for alleged war crimes.

Speaking exclusively to the JC, Ms Livni said: “I will do this not for me, not for provocation, but for the right of every Israeli to travel freely. I am not going to be restricted by extremists because I fought terror.”

The British system was, she said, “being abused by extremists for political reasons. Belgium and Spain have changed their laws, and the British know that they have to do so”.

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Demjanjuk trial: camp testimony

By Toby Axelrod in Berlin, January 21, 2010

The war crimes trial of John Demjanjuk continued this week with testimony from Thomas Blatt, one of the few survivors the Sobibor death camp.

But while Mr Blatt’s testimony was powerful in depicting the everyday terror for prisoners in Sobibor, it is doubtful that he brought the case closer to resolution, since Mr Blatt, 82, has always stressed he does not recall seeing Demjanjuk at the camp.

The Ukrainian-born defendant, 89, is charged as an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at Sobibor in 1943.

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Demjanjuk's lawyers calls to abandon trial

By Jessica Elgot, January 12, 2010

The alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk may have his trial postponed yet again after an appeal from his lawyer.

The 89-year-old Ukrainian is on trial in Munich charged with being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp.

The case resumed today after being suspended in early December due to Demjanjuk’s apparent ill health.

His defence lawyer Ulrich Busch has launched a new argument that German law cannot be applied to Demjanjuk, who was born in the Ukraine.

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Demjanjuk 'not fragile', say experts

By Toby Axelrod, December 23, 2009

The war crimes trial of John Demjanjuk has resumed and is no less bizarre than when it started three weeks ago.

Demjanjuk, 89, is charged with being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews, as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in 1943. Each day he is rolled into the Munich District courtroom in a wheelchair or on a gurney, wrapped in a blanket. But medical expert witnesses have assured the court he is neither frail nor senile, but simply old.

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'Nazi' policeman US deportation hearing begins

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2009

A retired engineer, who served in a Nazi police force, has appeared in court in the first step in an attempt to deport him from the US.

John Kalymon, 88, appeared at an immigration court in Detroit, Michigan. He denies personally shooting Jews, killing at least one, as a member of the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police.

He also denies rounding up hundreds of Ukrainian Jews so they could be deported to gas chambers or labour camps, but admits that he was a member of the UAP.

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