Supporting and protecting war-criminals


by Sunny
22nd February, 2008 at 3:31 pm    

This is extraordinary:

Scotland Yard allowed a suspected war criminal to escape Britain because officers feared an attempt to stop him would lead to a gun battle at Heathrow airport, police documents seen by the Guardian reveal. The former senior Israeli officer was supposed to be detained as he arrived in London for a speaking engagement after a British court had ordered his arrest.

But detectives watched on as he landed and hid on the plane for two hours, before flying off to escape justice. In the documents, counter-terrorism police say they did not try to board the Israeli civilian jet partly because they feared armed guards on the plane would open fire on British officers.

A UK court had issued a secret arrest warrant for Major General Doron Almog over alleged war crimes under the Geneva conventions of ordering the demolition of 59 civilian Palestinian homes.

Israeli diplomats were tipped off after Almog’s plane left Israel on September 11 2005. Once it landed in London, a military attaché from the Israeli embassy boarded the jet and warned Almog to stay on board. He refused to leave the plane until it took off again for Israel, two hours later.

So we have Israeli diplomats in London purposely supporting and harbouring war-criminals and murderers. I wonder if the usual squad will scream and shout about this. But I suspect not. Shame on Scotland Yard for having no balls either.


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  1. Dave Cole — on 22nd February, 2008 at 3:54 pm  

    “A UK court had issued a secret arrest warrant for Major General Doron Almog”

    A secret arrest warrant? That’s worth commenting on as well.

  2. sonia — on 22nd February, 2008 at 4:02 pm  

    erm..if scotland yard didn’t want to have a bloody shootout presumably that’s quite sensible of them? if we don’t want people shot at randomly and cross-fire, that prudent decision – in itself ‘doesn’t lack balls’. ( bit of a macho/aggression encouraging statement?) the wider question is do we think was it more of an excuse rather than reality.

  3. Sid — on 22nd February, 2008 at 4:24 pm  

    Nothing to do with balls, its a dereliction of duty on the part of Scotland Yard, surely.

  4. Sofia — on 22nd February, 2008 at 4:28 pm  

    Right so what we’re saying is that in order to prevent a shoot out they let him go..why couldn’t just ground the aircraft? not let it leave…and they think armed guards from the plane would have shot at counter terrorist police?…great…bring on further hijackings..it’s ok..our counter terrorist police don’t want a shoot out..they hold guns for fun…

  5. Leon — on 22nd February, 2008 at 4:29 pm  

    No fucking surprise really. This is one case I think I’d be tempted to support the police storming the plane all guns blazing…

  6. Rumbold — on 22nd February, 2008 at 4:37 pm  

    Dave Cole is right. Why do we have to issue secret arrest warrents? As far as I am aware, we have full diplomatic relations with Israel. If that was the case, we should have informed them if a British court had issued a warrent for one of their senior military officials, before he boarded the flight for London.

  7. Don — on 22nd February, 2008 at 4:41 pm  

    Since Scotland Yard did not know how many armed personnel were on the plane (at least two, maybe six or more) and they would have had to force an entry then they made the only sane decision, IMO.

    The original plan, it seems, was to pick him up at passport control, nice and quiet fait accompli. Presumably Plan B did not involve blowing the bloody door off and charging onto a plane, waving guns at an unknown number of armed Israeli security.

    Can’t see why the plane was allowed to leave, though. Quarantine it until the supply of dry-roasted peanuts and fizzy water runs out.

    BTW, I didn’t see where in the article the word murder was mentioned.

  8. Sofia — on 22nd February, 2008 at 4:50 pm  

    so this guy wasn’t a serving diplomat or anything…

  9. Sofia — on 22nd February, 2008 at 4:55 pm  

    military attaché from the Israeli embassy boarded the jet and warned Almog to stay on board

    isn’t that an obstruction of justice? or is this covered under diplomatic immunity as well

  10. Don — on 22nd February, 2008 at 4:56 pm  

    What? Where did all this macho come from?

    Sofia,

    ‘…and they think armed guards from the plane would have shot at counter terrorist police?’

    There would have been, what? a dozen at least armed men at odds with one another in the confines of an airplane and you don’t think there was a strong possibility of someone pulling a trigger and precipitating a bloody shambles? Watch the news much?

    ‘…bring on further hijackings’

    Non sequitur. The guy was not a threat nor likely to become one. Hundreds of warrants are issued every day, how and when to execute them is a decision the police make based on factors including public safety and not gettting bloody shot for no good reason.

    Rumbold, presumably the courts did not tell the Israeli government that they wanted to arrest their guy because that would have been tipping him off. Which appears to have happened anyway. I’m not sure what a ‘secret arrest warrant’ is, but I’m guessing that it would have stopped being secret when it was executed. Prior to that, I don’t see anything too sinister about not telling an alleged war criminal in advance that he’s going to get nicked at passport control.

  11. Sid — on 22nd February, 2008 at 5:01 pm  

    Prior to that, I don’t see anything too sinister about not telling an alleged war criminal in advance that he’s going to get nicked at passport control.

    Especially if is known that the officers from criminal’s consulate at the country where said passport control operates are going to tip him off.

  12. Rumbold — on 22nd February, 2008 at 5:01 pm  

    Don:

    “Rumbold, presumably the courts did not tell the Israeli government that they wanted to arrest their guy because that would have been tipping him off. Which appears to have happened anyway. I’m not sure what a ’secret arrest warrant’ is, but I’m guessing that it would have stopped being secret when it was executed. Prior to that, I don’t see anything too sinister about not telling an alleged war criminal in advance that he’s going to get nicked at passport control.”

    I don’t want British soldiers to start getting arrested if they decide to visit a country that doesn’t like them. I am not saying that the Major-General did not do what they are accusing him of, but I am just wondering if it is the best policy to start arresting such people at a whim. Telling him he would be arrested if he entered the UK would have been a different matter.

  13. Leon — on 22nd February, 2008 at 5:08 pm  

    Isn’t ‘military attaché’ a euphemism for Mossad?

  14. Sofia — on 22nd February, 2008 at 5:15 pm  

    Don so these armed “guards” were like the israeli version of U.S air marshals were they?

  15. Sofia — on 22nd February, 2008 at 5:17 pm  

    and Don, I suppose we let pinochet go, so letting go of other war criminals is ok too…as for him being a danger to anyone..subjective really

  16. Catkins — on 22nd February, 2008 at 5:27 pm  

    I may be missing something here, but how on earth was the military attache allowed airside, and on to the plane in order to issue a warning?

  17. Don — on 22nd February, 2008 at 7:22 pm  

    Sofia,

    AFIK, at least two, probably more Israeli marshalls are on every El-Al flight. The officer in question would have been entitled to his own security people in addition. So if your point is that all the armed personnel in the situation would have been highly trained, that is true. But forcing entry onto the aircraft and taking the guy out against his will would have involved a very high probability of a confrontational situation, with the consequent risk of
    people being killed.

    Are you really annoyed that they didn’t just go in anyway? I prefer armed police who are a last resort, not thrown in to make a political point.

    ‘ I suppose we let pinochet go,…’

    Yeah, damn shame. I was punching the air when they nicked the old bastard. And Thatcher…priceless.

    ‘…so letting go of other war criminals is ok too.’

    How are the cases similar? Please, join the dots for me.

    ‘as for him being a danger to anyone..subjective really’

    Of course subjective, how could such a judgement not be? Whoever was in command of the armed officers had to decide whether he represented a threat to life which warranted an aggressive armed response at that moment. They presumably concluded that he didn’t.

    Why the plane was allowed to leave, why (as Catkins asks) the attache was allowed through, I have no idea and hard questions need to be asked. But criticizing the police for not being gung-ho is an odd position to take.

  18. Katherine — on 22nd February, 2008 at 7:23 pm  

    arresting such people at a whim

    I don’t think British courts go around issuing warrants at a whim. I think it is shocking that the plane was not just grounded. Seriously, would Israel have supported its security people opening fire on the UK police? I just can’t believe that. This seems like a diplomatically-inspired wimping out and, if so, that is a direct undermining of the independence of the judiciary.

  19. Bert Preast — on 22nd February, 2008 at 10:46 pm  

    I’d expect the Israelis would simply have sealed the plane. Then parked it on a runway, and seen who gave in first. It would’ve been us.

    Also as Rumbold says, the idea is very dangerous. In many parts of the world all British soldiers are seen as war criminals. This bloke’s a general yes, but he hardly strikes me as a Hitler and do you really think he decided to bulldoze some ohmes on his won initiative and authority? He’s hardly a Pinochet. Thinking on it, arrest him and you’re not putting just British soldiers at risk of the same treatment but politicians and civil servants – in some countires I’m sure even citizens would make the grade. Foolish warrant, piss poor precedent, best leave the bugger to sod off sharpish.

  20. marvin — on 23rd February, 2008 at 12:32 pm  

    As Bert Preast said.

    On another point Sunny et al always go out their your way to stress “alleged” or “suspected” in terrorism cases, yet you have no qualms about stating War criminal as fact!

    Nobody tried to arrest Mugabe (well Thatchell did once I believe) or Armadinnerjacket when visiting around the world. Hizbollah and Hamas are also guilty of war crimes, yet the Western lefist “anti-war” crowd are inviting to them to bloody conferences in Ireland and England!

    And like Bert says, it would put British diplomats and soldiers at risk.

    It’s not for the British courts to decide the fate of another democratic nations military commanders.

    Pressure should be put on to Israel to sort these issues out, NOT for us. Simple as.

    Anyone who thinks that an Israeli military commander should face trial in Britain is nuts and in cloud cuckoo land.

  21. marvin — on 23rd February, 2008 at 12:34 pm  

    The only reason that arresting an Israeli commander for war crimes allegations is due to a legal loophole, according to the government. This loophole will soon be closed anyway….

  22. marvin — on 23rd February, 2008 at 12:37 pm  

    Am I now allowed to refer to suspected or alleged terrorists as simply terrorists, now that Sunny has is made his progressive fatwa against the Israeli commander in question without a trial? :P

  23. Rumbold — on 23rd February, 2008 at 3:04 pm  

    His alleged crimes were not even committed on British soil.

  24. Anas — on 23rd February, 2008 at 3:23 pm  

    This guy is a nasty piece of work, and if there were any justice in this world he’d be up in a court for war crimes. Since there wasn’t a hope in hell that Israel was going to put this guy in trial, given he was only following the state’s terrorist dictates (“I voz only followink orders, mein herr”), this is prolly the only way justice could have been served.

    Also, after all the outcry over Qaradawi, who lest we forget wasn’t a cold blooded murderer like this guy (you can’t tell me he was a major general in an illegal terroristic occupation and not a terrorist, the only following orders line is just bullshit), why was this dude even being invited into the country at the behest of an Israeli charity in the first place?

  25. marvin — on 23rd February, 2008 at 4:12 pm  

    Almog is also the father of a son with severe autism and mental retardation. He is the founder of Aleh Negev, which provides residential, medical and social services to the handicapped of southern Israel.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doron_Almog

  26. Don — on 23rd February, 2008 at 5:02 pm  

    Anas,

    Cold blooded murderer? Is there evidence for that, or is it enough that he is a member of IDF?

  27. Katherine — on 23rd February, 2008 at 5:15 pm  

    “…yet the Western lefist “anti-war” crowd are inviting to them to bloody conferences in Ireland and England!”

    Yeah, best of luck with that strawman Marv. Not this Western leftist anti-war person.

  28. douglas clark — on 23rd February, 2008 at 5:20 pm  

    I’d be interested to know who asked for the arrest warrant here. It hardly sounds likely the British Police would have made the case to the CPS, and hence to the Judge.

    So who did, and why?

  29. Don — on 23rd February, 2008 at 5:52 pm  

    Rumbold,

    Daniel Machover, acting as attorney for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

    Check Marvin’s link, it’s interesting.

  30. Avi Cohen — on 23rd February, 2008 at 7:22 pm  

    Douglas Clark – what does it matter who asked for the warant? You are the one who was saying one rule for all and now you want to be selective about who can apply for warrants huh?

    If the law says anyone can ask for the warrant then what is that to do with you?

    A legal warrant was issued and the Police refused to obey. So they should be sacked.

    An independant judge reviewed the request and issued the warrant.

    There are serious issues here which I raised here on PP sometime back:

    The Police refused to enforce a legal warrant.

    The Govt of Blair and backed by a man who is now in charge of Justice actually apologised at the time for issuing the warrant. If the law is the law why the hell did Blair and Straw apologise?

    Melanie Phillips complains about Muslims not being loyal well what about this now? Why isn’t the loyalty being questioned here?

    A legal warrant was issued and someone – we don’t know who – snitched and is most liekly still in their job.

    More disturbing is Scotland Yard don’t care.

    So a whole host of issues.

  31. Rumbold — on 23rd February, 2008 at 7:49 pm  

    Thanks for that link Marvin. I am always wary of Wikipedia entries on living people. However, the majority of it does not sound untrue.

    The question is not so much about this one case, but of the precedent it sets. If someone commits a crime on British soil, then arrest them. If you think that someone should not be let into the country, don’t let them in. But don’t wait until they come to the UK to raise money to help mentally handicapped children before trying to arrest them for alleged crimes not even commited in this country.

  32. douglas clark — on 24th February, 2008 at 1:25 am  

    Avi,

    Thank you for your well considered response.

    I asked a question. That is all I did.

    Now, that more of the background has come out on this thread, I will tell you how I see it.

    I am not entirely happy with the idea that there should be complete freedom to apply for a warrant, to be honest with you.

    My hope, which has subsequently been dashed, was that the request for the warrant had come from some body with international jusrisdiction, the ICC for instance. Had that been the case, then I would have been one of the folk backing the claim that there had been dereliction.

    It seems very odd to me that individuals, or groups of individuals, can approach a court directly asking it to effect a criminal warrant, which it must have been for the police to be involved. What the hell is the CPS for, if it not to decide what we proceed with and what we don’t?

    I am not against people attempting to bring others to justice. I just think that, perhaps they should present their evidence to the CPS, in exactly the same way as the Police are obliged to do. That would remove vexatious litigants.

    Indeed, it would be a far more transparent system. If the CPS thought there was a case to answer, then it is unlikely we’d have had the politicians running as roughshod over the judicial system as they appear to have done in this case.

    Incidentally, I think I am with Rumbold as far as British jurisdiction is concerned. If there were a case to be answered, for me, it’d have to be in front of an International Court, not a British Court.

    That, Avi, is what I think.

  33. Avi Cohen — on 24th February, 2008 at 10:36 am  

    Douglas – I know you asked a question and I appreciate that. But the law says people can apply for a warrant if they present evidence.

    The point is that Zionist Groups often ask for warrants against Palestinains and everyone considers this acceptable. When the Palestinians do it it isn’t considered ok.

    Also please bare in mind that the Judge is independant and looks at the merits of the application and then decides. In this case the Judge decided there was a case to answer.

    Also Douglas with respect with the USA and Israel being above International Law – seriously what hope do you have that those comitting acts contrary to international law will be brought to justice?

    The USA is a corrupt world policeman and will never allow any Israeli Official to be brought to trial. It will never allow a settlement according to international law. So how can you seriously hope for an international court to bring peopel to justice.

    As an example in Italy a man is kidnapped by the CIA and rendered to another country for torture and not a single CIA official is ever tried.

    In the UK flights have landed and the UK Authorities haven’t been told and they accept this.

    For what went on in Iraq was justice served? No. Those responsible got away with it and have never been tried. The people at the bottom brought to trial got light sentences.

    In addition it is worth noting that in Israel it is much the same.

    I would highlight the case of Joseph Mengiele, did you know that after the war it was over 5 years, possibly even 10 years before an arrest warrant was issued and the Catholic Church in Germany helped the scumbag escape justice. His son visited him but he was never brought before a court? Where the hell was local or international justice?

    This is the stupidity of the system. I mean come on this man was total scum and he was free to live in Germany for over 5 years after the war. That is crazy.

    Have things changed for the better. Slightly but these issues shouldn’t be about a particular country be it the USA, UK or Israel or Iran etc. It should be about justice being the over riding factor and it shouldn’t matter as long as justice is done.

    I am all for bringing Israeli and Palestinains who have committed war crimes to trial anywhere in the world in a fair system.

  34. douglas clark — on 24th February, 2008 at 11:25 am  

    Avi,

    Mengele escaped justice. He was on the Allies radar as a war criminal, but they believed him to be dead. Had they known otherwise, I’d assume there would have been a manhunt for him. When it later transpired he was alive, and given the lack of extradition treaties, MOSSAD went after him.

    I too am in favour of prosecuting war criminals, preferably in an an International Court. I am completely against the summary justice that the USA hands out, and that includes rendition, which is simply outsourcing torture.

    You are right to say that the USA refuses to recognise the ICC. Which is a flip flop of the first order as the USA were amongst its strongest proponents in the early days of it’s gestation. Indeed the USA did sign the treaty and then walked away from that.

    The Bush administration has gone further than that by subverting signatories by means of carrots and sticks, so that they are expected to ‘not apply’ the treaty to US citizens. A bilateral watering down, if you will. The EU has told them to stuff it, but weaker countries have not.

    It would be an interesting question to put to the three main candiates still standing for POTUS whether they would reaffirm the USA’s earlier good intentions re the ICC or not.

    I am all for bringing anyone who has committed a war crime to justice.

  35. Avi Cohen — on 24th February, 2008 at 1:55 pm  

    Douglas – we are both in the same camp then. As regards Mengele I saw a program on the History Channel and it said that there was no arrest warrant issued for Mengele until many many years after the war so I would beg to differ.

    West Germany issued an arrest warrant in 1959, which is a shocking period to wait to issue an arrest warrant. 14 years after the war ended. He should have been strung up by his testicles at that point.

    In 1945 he was arrested by the allies but released when he used papers from another doctor. So obviously the Allies didn’t take finding him seriously in my opinion.

    Either way the USA is subverting justice for itself and its allies and this is nothing short of a scandal.

    In the case of Mengele, Mossad was too slow in reacting to the many Nazi’s living in South America. They got Eichman but many others got away so Mossad failed in this mission. In the early 1950′s many of these scum lived very openly in South America.

    Also I have always wondered why the Peron’s are held in such high regard when they sheltered these people.

  36. douglas clark — on 24th February, 2008 at 2:13 pm  

    Avi,

    Yes, we are in the same camp. Our differences are just about means, not ends.

    I agree with you that the fact they had Mengele banged up and that he managed to switch identities, doesn’t look to tricky from 2008, but you have to remember that Europe, and particularily Germany in 1945 was a wasteland. It seems that he managed to slip through the net by claiming to be dead.

    I think you are quite right in saying that quite a few bigger targets escaped to South America. Hopefully, and I always try to be hopeful, the spread of the jurisdiction of the ICC to more and more countries will mean that there is no hiding place for scum like Mengele.

    The US ought to get it’s act sorted out, though. It is their exceptionalism that fuels a lot of anti-American sentiment. Mine included.

    Incidentally, the converse is also true. If someone is kidnapped from a country – via, say, bounty hunters – to the USA, then the Courts there will still try the person with whatever charge they were seeking them on. Wild West, or what!

  37. Anas — on 24th February, 2008 at 5:50 pm  

    Cold blooded murderer? Is there evidence for that, or is it enough that he is a member of IDF?

    Would you be similarly hesitant about labelling a high ranking member of the mafia or of al-qaeda in Iraq a cold blooded murderer. Fact is the guy was involved at a very high level in a brutal and bloody illegal occupation of another country, an occupation that has maintained itself through terrorist tactics.

  38. Avi Cohen — on 24th February, 2008 at 6:09 pm  

    Douglas – I agree that it was a difficult situation but trust me when I say that the programme on the History Channel made my blood boil. Mengele was even in the 50′s and 60′s openly using his name in correspondances with the West German Authorities. Thus they knew where he was but no justice.

    The man was plainly evil and evaded justice.

    Why did the Catholic Church in West Germany help him escape?

    Again we have the two in Bosnia who are wanted and although well hidden surely people should have a concience to turn them in.

  39. Don — on 24th February, 2008 at 7:03 pm  

    Anas,

    I wasn’t being hesitant, I was asking for evidence. I suppose a rhetorical question will have to do.

    You do consider all members of the IDF as terrorists? That’s all I asked.

  40. Anas — on 25th February, 2008 at 10:58 am  

    You do consider all members of the IDF as terrorists? That’s all I asked.

    No. But I do consider high ranking members of the IDF who are directly involved in the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as such.

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