Law chief in Israeli war crimes probe

THE Attorney General was to fly to Israel today to investigate whether war crimes charges should be brought against Israeli soldiers who shot dead two Britons.

Relatives of award-winning cameraman James Miller and activist Tom Hurndall have asked Lord Goldsmith QC to prosecute under the Geneva Convention.

The Government's senior law officer will take part in a series of meetings this week with Israeli ministers and high-ranking military officials.

Lord Goldsmith said: "It has been suggested to me that under the Geneva Convention I could consider prosecution. The meetings are being set up through usual diplomatic channels and I have every reason to think the Israeli authorities will be open and give me full co-operation."

Speaking in London ahead of his departure to Tel Aviv, the Attorney General said: "I need to consider myself whether there ought to be prosecutions here in either of these cases.

"I will carefully consider this without any preconceptions. This is not about raising expectations about whether anything is going to happen one way or another."

He said he hoped to see Israeli attorney general Meni Mazuz, minister of defence Amir Peretz and minister of justice Haim Ramon.

Israeli military prosecutors have insisted that no further prosecutions will take place unless fresh evidence comes to light.

Mr Miller, 34, from Braunton, Devon, was gunned down as he made a film about Palestinian children in the Rafah refugee camp in May 2003.

Mr Hurndall, 22, from London, was shot a mile from where Mr Miller had died only weeks before, in February 2003.

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