With prosecution law amended, Livni visits Britain


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni made her first visit to Britain since a law that allows for the prosecution of foreign officials for alleged war crimes was amended.

Livni arrived Thursday in London; a request for an arrest warrant against Livni was turned down the same day, according to Ynet. She had canceled a 2009 visit when a warrant for her arrest was issued over her role in the Gaza war. Livni was Israel’s foreign minister during the monthlong war in 2008-09. 

Under the new law, which took effect Sept. 15, Britain’s director of public prosecutions must agree to issue an arrest warrant in universal jurisdiction cases in which the alleged crimes were committed outside of Britain. This means political considerations also will be taken into account.

Livni met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, reportedly at his invitation, and praised Britain for amending the law.

“This is not a personal issue, but something which has darkened relations between the two countries for years, and Britain has done a good thing by putting an end to the matter,” Livni said, according to Haaretz. 

Before the amendment, anyone in Britain could apply to a judge for an arrest warrant. Several Israeli officials either canceled or shortened visits to the country over fears of being arrested for their roles in the Second Lebanon and Gaza wars.


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