November 08, 2009

Norway drops war crimes case against Israel

November 8, 2009

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Norwegian prosecutors have dropped a case alleging war crimes by 10 Israeli leaders during last winter’s Gaza military campaign.

Chief prosecutor Siri Frigaard said Friday she is dismissing the complaint, lodged on April 22 by a group of lawyers under Norway's universal jurisdiction law, because "there is no good reason" for Norwegian authorities to investigate further and Norway should be judicious in deciding when to investigate alleged war crimes by individuals with no connection to the country.

The 2008 jurisdiction law allows foreigners to face charges in Norway for war crimes committed anywhere in the world.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and opposition leader Tzipi Livni were among the Israelis named.

The decision comes a day after the United Nations General Assembly, with Norway abstaining from the vote, endorsed the Goldstone Report. The report alleges war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the Gaza war and recommends independent investigations into the charges.

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