For the fourth time in seven years, the British government has intervened to protect Tzipi Livni, Israelâs former foreign minister, from a possible a war crimes investigation into her role in Israelâs attack on the Gaza Strip in December 2008.
Last week, ahead of her planned trip to London for a conference organized by the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz, Scotland Yardâs War Crimes Unit telephoned Livni to invite her to come in for a voluntary police interview.
After receiving the summons, Israel initiated âdiplomatic contactâ with Britain, according to Haaretz, and the UKâs Foreign Secretary arranged for Livni to receive, once again, the status of a âspecial diplomatic assignment.â
The police summons was prompted by the police and Crown Prosecution Serviceâs review of a war crimes complaint that was originally filed in 2009, Daniel Machover, an attorney representing litigants in the case, told The Electronic Intifada. But the UK government has repeatedly intervened to prevent the case from advancing.
Machover lamented âthe apparent easeâ with which the British government seeks âto interfere with due process by classifying otherwise private visits of suspects from âfriendly countriesâ as âspecial missionsâ with a view to providing such suspects with immunity.â
The complaint was lodged by Palestinian victims of Israelâs three-week attack. They are represented by the London-based law firm Hickman and Rose, for which Machover works, and the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights.
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