Lawyer Tayab Ali says he has failed to get a British judge to issue an arrest warrant for the visiting Israeli defense minister on the grounds of alleged war crimes committed during the attack on Gaza, which began late last year.
Palestinian human rights groups had hoped to take advantage of Britain's principle of universal jurisdiction to have Barak arrested.
But Israeli officials said Barak was immune from prosecution because of his status as a senior government official and said his visit would continue as planned.
Ali said Tuesday he was disappointed with the decision.
Like the Nazi War Criminals that ran from international courts and international laws, so will the Zionist War Criminals.
Today Ehud Barak may legally be named as a War Criminal wanted for war crimes and an arrest warrant issued. This is how we do it, one Zionist criminal at a time, one country at a time, using international law, until they are all convicted and must live hiding in their little patch of desert that amounts to a prison, or running from the law when ever they dare to venture out of their Israeli Prison. Sounds nice, but sooner or later I expect the US to intervene and start arm twisting and threatening other countries to drop cases against the criminals. The US has already begun this process with the Goldstone report. Perhaps now Americans will understand why they are hated in the rest of the world for having two standards. One for the US and Israel and one for everyone else. Here is the report below. I’d love to see Barak’s murdering face when he is dubbed a War Criminal:
Palestinian families apply for international arrest warrant for Ehud Barak over military offensive in Gaza
British lawyers for 16 Palestinians are seeking to obtain an international arrest warrant for the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, in a London court over alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip.
Barak, who was in overall charge of Israeli's offensive in Gaza earlier this year, is due to speak at a meeting at the Labour party conference in Brighton today.
Barak is also due to meet Gordon Brown and David Miliband, the foreign secretary, for talks on the Middle East and Iran.
The legal action relates to alleged war crimes and breaches of the Geneva conventions during the war, which was launched by Israel in response to Palestinian rocket attacks and widely criticised internationally.
Solicitors are asking a district judge at the City of Westminster magistrates court to issue a warrant for Barak's arrest under the 1988 Criminal Justice Act, which gives courts in England and Wales universal jurisdiction in war crimes cases. The application alleges that Barak has committed offences against the 1957 Geneva conventions.
Barak, who is also deputy prime minister of Israel and leader of the country's Labour party, could argue that his government office guarantees him "state immunity" from prosecution. But lawyers from two London law firms, Irvine Thanvi Natas and Imran Khan & Partners, believe the warrant that the international criminal court issued in May last year for the arrest of Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, offers a precedent. Bashir is accused of committing war crimes in Darfur.
The issue is both politically explosive and legally sensitive.
Today's hearing was delayed while the court asked the Foreign Office to clarify Barak's status in the UK. However, the lawyers making the application believe a warrant could be issued even if Barak is, as he would certainly argue, in Britain in an official capacity. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We cannot comment on live legal issues." Barak and his wife are understood to have arrived in the UK on Saturday.
Michel Massih, a barrister, said he believed the British government was obliged "to actively pursue people who are alleged to be involved in war crimes".
Massih told al-Jazeera TV: "One does not need, at this stage, to provide more than a basic prima face case and the suggestion would be that Barak certainly was in a position where he has to answer some of the allegations made about the commission of crimes by Israeli troops."
Israeli media reported that Barak had been warned about the impending legal action and urged to leave the UK for France. But his office said he had decided to carry on with his schedule as there was no doubt he enjoyed diplomatic immunity "due to his being a minister in the government".
In 2005, human rights groups criticised British authorities for failing to arrest Doron Almog, an Israeli general for whom an arrest warrant for alleged war crimes had been issued when his aircraft landed in London. Almog stayed on the plane at Heathrow after being informed that he could face arrest and was allowed to return to Israel. SOURCE