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U.K. Changes Law to Prevent Visiting Israelis Facing Charges

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Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. amended the law around private prosecutions to prevent visiting dignitaries from facing arrest on war crimes or torture charges.

In recent years, Israeli politicians in particular have been told that if they come to Britain they face arrest on charges brought by human-rights groups. In 2009, Tzipi Livni, leader of the opposition Kadima party, decided against visiting the U.K. after a warrant was issued for her arrest by lawyers acting for Palestinians.

Under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, passed by Parliament yesterday, private prosecutions for “universal jurisdiction” offences will have to be approved by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at