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Did a British Judge Issue an Arrest Warrant for Livni?

Opposition Leader Livni canceled appearance at London conference, and Arab news network said a British court has issued a warrant for her arrest.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/14/2009, 9:14 PM / Last Update: 12/14/2009, 9:33 PM

Israel news photo

Al Jazeera news network reports that a British court has issued a warrant for the arrest of Opposition Leader and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for alleged war crimes in the Cast Lead counter-terror operation. Al Jazeera's London correspondent reported the news on Monday.

Livni canceled a trip to England, during which she was to speak at the London conference scheduled by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) on Sunday, December 13. The Arab network claimed that the cancellation was due to her concern that she would be arrested.

The London Jewish Chronicle reported that there is “confusion” over the exact grounds for the cancellation of Livni's trip to Britain.

Livni, who had been due to speak at Sunday’s JNF Vision 2010 conference in Hendon, in north-west London, said that she had canceled the trip two weeks ago “for scheduling reasons.”

It was believed that she would hold private talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and possibly Foreign Secretary David Miliband, during her trip.

Regrets
The JNF said Monday that it “regretted” the fact Livni had not attended the conference, but chairman Samuel Hayek could not say what the reasons for the cancellation were. He said it was also regrettable that “the British Government is unable to conduct free dialogue with Israel’s most senior statesmen and politicians," but did not explain further.

The Jewish Chronicle reported that “It is not known when exactly the JNF was made aware that Ms Livni would not be attending. On Friday afternoon staff were still indicating she would travel to London.”

“Despite claims in Arab-language media, it has not been possible to establish whether an arrest warrant was sought, or issued, with Scotland Yard declining to comment on the matter,” the Chronicle said.

MK suggests warrants against British
Member of Knesset Otniel Schneller said Monday afternoon that Israel should consider issuing warrants against some leaders of the government in London. The Kadima Knesset member was reacting to the report regarding Livni.

Schneller continued, "Israel, as a humanitarian gesture, should respond to a request by the Irish to issue warrants against the English administration based upon the cries of the residents of Belfast."