The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights 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 called 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.
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.
In a press release, PCHR reminded 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,” press release said.
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 2002 in cooperation with Hickman and Rose Foundation.