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Arrest Warrants

Attorney-General written question – answered on 17th October 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Love Andrew Love Labour, Edmonton

To ask the Attorney-General what discussions he has had with the Director of Public Prosecutions on (a) the visit to the UK in October 2011 of the Leader of the Opposition in Israel and (b) the potential issue of an arrest warrant on his arrival; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve The Attorney-General

During the afternoon of 4 October 2011, an application was made to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, QC, to exercise his consent pursuant to section 153 of the Police and Social Responsibility Act 2011, for a private prosecutor to apply for a warrant to arrest Ms Tzipi Livni, the former Foreign Secretary in Israel for alleged offences relating to grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva convention in relation to military action in Gaza in December 2008.

I had no discussions with the director in respect of Ms Livni’s visit in advance of the visit taking place. I was consulted by him in the evening of 5 October. It is normal practice for the director to consult with the Attorney-General in cases of particular sensitivity and was necessary in this case as the offence for which arrest was sought was one that required the consent of the Attorney-General for it to proceed to trial. The decision remained that of the director.

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