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Kochavi. Off the hook? Photo: Gadi Kabalo
Kochavi. Off the hook? Photo: Gadi Kabalo

UK: Solution to war crime lawsuits near

British Foreign Ministry formulating legal procedure to prevent issuing arrest warrants against IDF officers visiting country

Itamar Eichner
Published: 03.06.06, 11:28 / Israel News

Britain has informed Israel it is close to finding a solution that will enable IDF officers to visit the UK without fear of getting arrested due to war crime lawsuits filed against them, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.

Trip Cancelled
IDF officer cancels UK trip for fear of arrest / Hanan Greenberg
Judge Advocate-General Brigadier-General Avichai Mendelblit recommends Brigadier-General Aviv Kochavi cancel studies leave for fear he will be arrested for alleged war crimes
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The British Foreign Ministry is currently formulating a solution to the problem that will not necessitate legal amendments to the constitution. According to this new procedure, which has already been approved by British legal officials, courts in the kingdom will be prohibited from issuing arrest warrants against foreign citizens without the authorization of the chief prosecutor.


This new regulation will enable the government to supervise over lawsuits and prevent the mass issuing of arrest warrants against IDF officers and other Israeli officials.


The British hope this new procedure will prevent damage to the relations between the two countries.


Solution for Kochavi


Meanwhile, Israel has been pressuring the British to find an immediate solution that would allow Brigadier-General Aviv Kochavi to arrive in the UK as planned for a year of studies at the Kimberly military academy. Kochavi is currently facing an arrest threat in Britain, due to his service as commander of the Israeli army in Gaza.


Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Sunday reported to the cabinet ministers that in her visit to London last week, her counterparts in the country have also voiced their concern regarding the issue, and said they intend to resolve it as quickly as possible.


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