|Spanish Authorities Refuse to Grant Avi Dichter Immunity|
|Sunday, 31 October 2010 12:30|
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) notes that the Spanish authorities refused to provide Avi Dichter, former Director of the Israeli General Security Services, with requested immunity prior to a planned visit to Spain. Mr. Dichter is currently the subject of a criminal lawsuit before the Spanish Courts in relation to his role in the Al Daraj assassination of July 22, 2002.
PCHR applaud this move, noting a welcome return to the rule of law. Spain, along with all other High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, is subject to a legal obligation to search for and prosecute all those suspected of committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
Spain’s move comes as a reaffirmation of the desire to ensure that Spain does not become a ‘safe haven’ where suspected war criminals can travel with impunity. However, PCHR note that following intense political pressure from the Israeli government, Spain recently modified its existing universal jurisdiction laws. Such political pressure has no place in the international legal order. All those suspected of committing international crimes must be investigated, and if appropriate prosecuted; victims’ rights must be upheld. PCHR urge Spain to repeal recent amendments to the universal jurisdiction law, noting that these amendments way violate Spain’s international obligations.
The Al Daraj case, brought by PCHR, Hickman & Rose (UK) and Spanish partners Gonzalo Boye, Antonio Segura, Juan Moreno and Raul Maillo, is currently pending before the Spanish Constitutional Court.
Those implicated include: former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, his former military advisor Michael Herzog, former IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Moshe Yaalon, former Shin Bet Director Avi Dichter, former Israel Air Force Commander General Dan Halutz, former head of the IDF Operation Branch Major-General Giora Eiland, and former Southern Command Chief Doron Almog.
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