Creating new perspectives since 2009

UK advocacy group submits legal dossier of ministers' alleged complicity in Israeli war crimes

During its press conference on Tuesday, 16 January, the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) unveiled a criminal complaint against senior UK politicians, alleging their complicity in war crimes committed in Gaza. The complaint, submitted to the Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Unit, includes detailed evidence and harrowing eyewitness accounts. Tayab Ali, Director of the ICJP, emphasised the imperative for a thorough investigation into these serious accusations, highlighting the profound human cost of the conflict. The conference marks a significant step in seeking accountability for the atrocities committed in Gaza.

January 17, 2024 at 12:15 pm

A criminal complaint against senior UK politicians, including ministers, alleging their complicity in war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip has been issued by the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP). The UK-based advocacy group handed over hard drives and evidence dossiers to the Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Unit last week.

“This is just the first tranche of our evidence and the first list of suspects… we will add further offences and further categories of suspects including commentators who continue to support war crimes,” Tayab Ali, director of the ICJP and head of international law at Bindmans LLP, told a press conference yesterday.

Ali also shared details of the complaint on X. “True to our word we have taken the first step in holding those alleged to support war crimes in the UK to account,” said Ali. “We have referred a complaint to Scotland Yard. The complaint names 9 UK citizens who are allegedly fighting with the IDF and 4 UK government officials.”

ICJP submitted the evidence following a request earlier this month by Scotland Yard’s counter terror police calling on witnesses or victims of terrorism or crimes against humanity to come forward. The investigation by the Met covers alleged war crimes in the region since 2014 – as mandated for investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Speaking to UK radio show LBC this morning, Met’s Commission Sir Mark Rowley told presenter Nick Ferrari of the UK’s obligation under the Rome Statute “to make sure people involved in genocide, who’ve ended up in this country, don’t have safe harbour here and are prosecuted.”

Despite the obligation, UK politicians – including former Prime Minister Boris Johnson – condemned the investigations being conducted by the Metropolitan Police into Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Johnson said he was concerned about the “worrying politicisation” of them.

Scotland Yard said that the British police had a “responsibility to support” the ICC and that with “higher volumes” of British nationals returning to the UK since7 October, it expected a greater number of potential witnesses and victims of war crimes committed in Palestine arriving from the region.

In its submission to the Met, the ICJP filed a 78-page legal complaint. It features photographic evidence as well as harrowing eyewitness accounts, including from British citizens who were either present in Gaza after 7 October or have family members there who have provided them with information and evidence. The names of the people mentioned in the complaint were not disclosed for legal reasons.

Two high-profile cases have been filed against Israel. Last week saw South Africa submit its case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing Israel of genocide. The ICC on the other hand, which has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute, opened its case in 2021.

READ: Israel kills 9 Palestinians in occupied West Bank air strikes