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Cullen’s disgraceful defence of a war criminal

Cullen’s disgraceful defence of a war criminal

Global Peace and Justice Auckland is appalled at Attorney-General Michael Cullen’s staying of legal action against self-confessed war criminal Moshe Ya’alon who has been visiting New Zealand this week.

Cullen on Wednesday over-ruled Monday’s decision by District Court Judge Avinash Deobhakta to issue an arrest warrant for Ya’alon. Deobhakta found that a prime facie case had been established for Ya’alon’s involvement in the 2002 assassination of Palestinian leader Salah Shehadeb in Gaza City. That bomb strike also killed more than 20 other civilians in the neighbourhood.

If war crimes are to be stopped then it is imperative that courts around the world respond to appeals from human rights organisations by issuing proceedings against these criminals and for governments to have the political courage to stand up for the victims. In this case our courts have done their job appropriately but our government has wimped out.

Gutless political leaders are the chief ally of war criminals and Cullen fits the category perfectly.

Cullen’s defence of Ya’alon reinforces the one-sided policy the New Zealand government has towards the illegal occupation and annexation of Palestinian territory by Israel and the on-going struggle for human rights for Palestinians in the Middle East.

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