- Feb 6, 2010
- Reaction score
Tzipi Livni spared war crime arrest threat | World news | The GuardianThe Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni has avoided the possibility of prosecution in a British court for war crimes after the Foreign Office declared that she enjoys temporary diplomatic immunity.
A private application for a warrant to arrest the former foreign minister during her visit to London was made on Tuesday and had been under consideration by the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC.
But the announcement that the Foreign Office had issued a rarely heard of certificate that she was on a "special mission" infuriated Palestinian activists and human rights groups.
Legislation passed earlier this year requires the DPP to give his consent to any private prosecution for war crimes launched in courts in England and Wales to prevent politically motivated cases and to ensure that there was "solid evidence". Under what is known as universal jurisdiction, war crimes committed anywhere in the world can be tried in UK courts.
The government has abused the law in order to ensure that Ms Livni escapes accountability. Ms Livni is not a member of the Israeli government, but the leader of the opposition. This action exhibits a serious and worrying disregard for the rule of law, and appears to be in violation of the UK's international obligations