September 11, 2005

Israeli war crimes suspect avoids arrest at Heathrow

Ha'aretz has just reported how an Israeli general stayed on his arrival plane at Heathrow airport, until it became his departure plane, because the Israeli government tipped him off that he was going be arrested as a suspected war criminal. Apparently a law firm specialising in human rights has made a case against General (res.) Doron Almog.
The warrant was issued based on one incident - demolition of a home in Rafah - but the attorneys also seek to investigate allegations concerning Almog's involvement in three other cases: the killing of a woman in her ninth month of pregnancy (Nouha al-Maqadam, March 3, 2003); the killing of three young men in northern Gaza on December 30, 2001; and the bombing of the Daraj neighborhood in Gaza on July 22, 2002, which killed Hamas' military head Salah Shehadeh and 14 other Palestinians.
Lawyer Daniel Machover sees a bright side to this escape.
Machover told Haaretz on Sunday that his clients and his firm "were deeply sorry that Almog slipped away from the British justice system, but the fact that he feels that he cannot stand up to it, is at least significant in showing that there is no immunity for war criminals in Britain."
Full story - Ha'aretz

UPDATE - The BBC has now picked up on this story. Unlike the Ha'aretz story, the BBC carries Israel's justification for one of the war crimes Almog is suspected of having committed.
It was seen as retaliation for an assault by Islamic militants on an Israeli Army post that left four soldiers dead.
Seen as retaliation by who? The Beeb also quoted former legal adviser to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Robbie Sable, as saying that it was unlikely Maj Gen Almog would have been arrested.
Courts in organised countries do not act on malicious litigation and this was definitely malicious litigation.
The question I'd want to ask is, who tipped the Israelis off? Was it the police? the government? who?

This is also posted at Lenin's Tomb.

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