Seek out and prosecute visiting war crimes suspect Shaul Mofaz
PCHR today called on the Director of Public Prosecutions,
Alison Saunders, and the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, to urgently liaise
to ensure that immediate decisions are made regarding the arrest and (if the
evidence permits) prosecution before the a Court in England and Wales of Shaul
Mofaz with a war crimes offence contrary to the Geneva Conventions Act 1957
(GCA). It is essential the decisions are made today, 22 June 2015, before Mr
Mofaz is able to leave the UK.
PCHR calls on the public and members of civil society to
immediately contact the Attorney General’s office via email – [email protected]
– to ensure that he understands the strength of public feeling about the fair
application of the rule of law to all those suspected of committing serious
offences under international criminal law.
It is understood that Mr Mofaz, who left Israeli political
life earlier this year, is in London on Monday, 22 June 2015, on a private
visit and that the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, has not accorded Mr Mofaz
any form of immunity from the fair application of English criminal law. After
learning of his visit to London, on 21 June, and acting on behalf of Gazan
victims of alleged war crimes, PCHR sent the police and Crown Prosecution
Service evidence relating to Mr Mofaz to enable the police to arrest him on
suspicion of committing an offence contrary to the GCA.
PCHR respectfully reminds the Attorney General and the UK
Government of the UK’s solemn international duties under article 146 of the
Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 to ‘seek out and prosecute’ those suspected of
committing war crimes. To deter such crimes during military conflicts and
military occupation of civilians, it is essential that suspects are properly
subject to the rule of law in accordance with such clear obligations to enforce
international criminal law.
PCHR calls on the British authorities: please strike a blow
against impunity where suspected Israeli war crimes are concerned; and restore
public confidence in the effectiveness of international criminal law regardless
of the nationality of the suspect: act now, so Mr Mofaz does not evade the fair
application of the law to his alleged conduct in Gaza.
It should be noted that on 05 September 2003, Swiss attorney,
Marcel Bosonnet, and Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Raji
Sourani, submitted two complaints to the Swiss Military Attorney General in
Berne on behalf of Palestinian victims. One complaint is in respect of Palestinians whose homes were demolished
by Israeli occupying forces; the second complaint is in respect of Palestinians
who were subjected to torture and ill treatment in detention by the Israeli
security services. The complaints call
for investigation and prosecution of those responsible for these acts. In particular, the complaints call for
investigations of former Israeli Minister of Defence, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer;
former Chief of Staff of the Israeli military, Shaul Mofaz; former head of
Israel’s General Security Services, Avi Dichter; and former head of the Israeli
military Southern Command, Doron Almoge. The Swiss Military Attorney General accepted the complaints and promised
to follow necessary legal procedures. In addition to file a lawsuit against
Shaul Mofaz in the UK in 2004.