One day after Doron Almog escaped arrest by British Anti-Terrorist Police, details have emerged about an apparent leak which allowed him to return to Israel without facing the allegations brought against him. The clients of PCHR and Hickman & Rose, who are the victims of Doron Almog’s alleged war crimes, believe that anyone responsible for facilitating the escape of this war crimes suspect must also be brought to justice. This action is essential to protect the integrity of the British criminal justice system.
On 10th September 2005, following an application made by Hickman & Rose and PCHR on behalf of victims of alleged grave breaches in the Gaza Strip, a warrant was issued by Bow Street Magistrates’ Court for the immediate arrest of Major General (reserve) Doron Almog. The matter was then placed in the hands of the anti-terrorist and war crimes unit of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). On 11th September, according to reports in Israel and the UK, Doron Almog evaded arrest at Heathrow airport by staying on the airplane that landed there that afternoon and returning to Israel on the same aircraft.
PCHR and Hickman & Rose have reason to believe that a number of leaks occurred which allowed Doron Almog to evade arrest and return to Israel hours after he had landed in the UK. Media reports and independent reports received by Hickman and Rose and PCHR also indicate that senior Israeli diplomatic and military officials were provided with access to the El Al flight in order to warn Doron Almog that police were waiting to arrest him at Heathrow airport.
Hickman & Rose, acting on behalf of PCHR and the victims of alleged war crimes, have today written to the MPS and the Foreign Secretary to demand:
An immediate investigation by the MPS and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) into the events surrounding the attempted arrest of Doron Almog. These investigations should seek to establish the culpability of any court or police officials who may have been responsible for perverting the course of justice through leaks to the media and/or associates of the suspect;
The FCO to immediately request that the Israeli Foreign Ministry: waive the diplomatic privileges accorded to its officials on this matter to enable the police to investigate; or (failing that) recall to Israel the Israeli Ambassador and/or relevant Military Attache and/or any other relevant officials.
A full investigation by the relevant authorities to establish why the police did not board the plane to arrest the suspect and whether (and if so why) senior officials from the Israeli embassy were given access to the suspect;
Our clients hope that human rights organisations in the UK and abroad continue to fight against impunity through ensuring that their criminal justice systems seek out and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention apply pressure on the relevant UK authorities to ensure that Doron Almog and any of his associates who were responsible for perverting the course of justice are prosecuted in the UK.