Sunday, 5 December 2010
Top prosecutor to approve arrests of foreign officials
The aim is to stop politically motivated campaign groups from successfully applying to the UK courts for war crimes arrest warrants in private prosecutions.
The move follows the outcry over attempts to detain high-profile figures intending to travel to London, including Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister.
But Amnesty International warned the move would give suspect war criminals a "free ticket to escape the law".
Ms Livni scrapped a speech in London last December after Palestinian activists tried to launch a prosecution, and Israel's deputy prime minister Dan Meridor cancelled a visit last month following warnings that he could face an arrest warrant.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said the measure was designed to ensure the so-called universal jurisdiction cases were proceeded with only where there was a prospect of a successful prosecution.