Visiting alleged war criminals fear arrest in UK despite changes in law

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 June 2012, 01:37 GMT]
Major-General Doron Almog, a senior Israeli officer of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Southern Command cancelled his planned trip to attend a fund-raising dinner fearing arrest in Britain, Middle East Monitor reported in the June 01 edition. In December 2010, a suspect Sri Lankan war criminal, Major General Chagi Gallage, a member of the then Mahinda Rajapaksa's entourage to London, escaped arrest by his premature departure from Britain, and in September 2011, Maj.Gen.(Retd.) Jegath Dias, deputy counsel in Germany was recalled by Colombo after being informed of imminent investigations by Swiss Government over allegations of war-crimes charges.

While new government regulations were proposed in UK to stop the Courts from issuing arrest warrants against foreign officials, the Israeli official's cancellation of UK visit indicates that the fear of arrest still persists.

Crimes affected by the proposed changes were expected to include war crimes under the Geneva Conventions, torture and hostage-taking.

Full text of the article in the Middle East Monitor follows:

Major-General Doron Almog, Israeli Defence Forces
Major-General Doron Almog, Israeli Defence Forces
A senior Israeli officer has cancelled a planned visit to Britain fearing arrest for alleged war crimes. Major-General Doron Almog is the ex-commanding officer of the Israel Defence Forces Southern Command. He was invited to a fundraising dinner in London later this month but senior government officials advised him to cancel his trip.

Despite the fact that the British government amended the procedures for the law of universal jurisdiction precisely to prevent such arrests, officials in Israel told Almog that they cannot guarantee that a warrant will not be issued for his arrest. He stands accused of committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead in 2008/9. More specifically, that he issued the order to raze 59 inhabited houses to the ground in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. Such an act is regarded as collective punishment, which is prohibited in international law.

Almog was also one of the group of officers and politicians who decided to drop a one-ton-bomb on a house in a densely populated area of the Gaza Strip in order to assassinate Salah Shehadi in July, 2002. Fifteen people were killed in the explosion, including nine children; around 150 were injured.

This is not the first time that the major-general is at the centre of such concerns. Seven years ago he was tipped off that a British judge had issued an arrest warrant for him, so he didn't leave the aircraft on which he had arrived at Heathrow Airport, opting instead to fly straight back to Tel Aviv.

Related Articles:
14.09.11   Colombo recalls Dias over war crimes prosecution fear
04.05.11   German Rights Group accuses Dias of war-crimes
04.12.10   Suspect War Criminal flees UK, escapes arrest

External Links:
Haaretz: U.K. to change law in wake of warrants against Israeli officials
Telegraph: War crimes arrest warrants can be blocked under new rules
Ynet: UK amends law that allows arrest of Israeli officials
MEMO: Senior Israeli officer cancels visit to UK fearing arrest


Latest 15 Reports
14.10.19 23:48   Photo
Tamil parties in North-East stipulate ‘acid test’ terms to SL presidential candidates
13.10.19 22:15   Photo
SL Governor's latest land grab poses danger to archaeological traces of Eezham Tamils
12.10.19 22:23   Photo
Monks step up campaign against Muslims, want to carve out Sinhala colony in Ampaa'rai
11.10.19 22:07   Photo
Vote for Self-Determination, reject major candidates for more effective boycott
10.10.19 23:31   Photo
SL Police intensifies restrictions on Saiva devotees at disputed ‘chaitya’ hilltop in East
09.10.19 20:17  
Indian Coast Guard trespassed into waters off Jaffna, 18 fishers detained since 03 October
08.10.19 18:43  
Divisional Secretary, TNA MPs must act to release Chegnchoalai lands: civil activist
07.10.19 23:12   Photo
Heinous act by HRCSL: former orphans of Chegnchoalai on the brink of losing lands
06.10.19 12:21  
EPDP joins Jaffna protest against desecration of Neeraaviyadi temple
05.10.19 22:06  
Families inheriting lands from parents refused of land registration in Moothoor East
04.10.19 21:50  
SL Archaeology, Police continue to disturb Tamils’ right to worship at Vedukku-naa'ri hilltop
03.10.19 19:16  
Raghavan plans to distribute uncultivatable lands to Tamils to compensate for loss of fertile lands
02.10.19 22:28   Photo
No place for human rights in China’s white paper for future world
01.10.19 18:26  
Genocidal Sri Lanka hits back at UN, claims it passed ‘litmus test’ on human rights in 2019
30.09.19 20:49  
SL military, police, traders, exert pressure on civil authorities in Mannaar to alienate lands
Find this article at: