국제앰네스티는 영국을 방문한 전쟁범죄 및 고문범죄 용의자에 대한 체포 영장 발부를 막아 영국이 국제범죄자들의 피난처로 전락할 수 있는 문제점이 담긴 영국 정부의 제안에 반대할 것을 영국 의회에 요청했다.영국 법무부는 영국을 방문한 국제범죄용의자에 대한 개인 체포 영장을 발부할 시 검찰총장이 이에 대한 거부권을 행사할 수 있도록 허용할 것을 22일 제안했다.
국제앰네스티 크리스토퍼 키스 홀(Christopher Keith Hall) 선임 법률 자문은 “이번 제안은 불필요할 뿐만 아니라 잘못된 의의를 담고 있다. 영국 정부는 자국을 방문하는 전쟁범죄 용의자의 체포 가능성을 더욱 어렵게 하고 있다”며 “현재 적용되고 있는 절차는 국제범죄 용의자가 영국을 방문할 시 피해자들이 직접 신속한 대응을 할 수 있도록 하고 있으며, 이 절차는 계속 유지돼야한다”고 말했다.
UK justice proposal would lead to impunity for war crimes and torture
23 July 2010
Amnesty International has urged the UK parliament to reject a government proposal that would hamper arrest warrants being issued for suspected war criminals and torturers visiting the country, warning that it could lead to the UK being seen as a safe haven for international criminals.
The UK Ministry of Justice proposed on Thursday to give the Director of Public Prosecutions veto power over private arrest warrants requested against alleged international criminals who visit the UK, claiming that the system is open to abuse by people trying to make political points on the basis of flimsy evidence.
“This proposal is unnecessary and sends the wrong signals. The UK government is trying to make it more difficult for those suspected of war crimes to be arrested on British soil,” said Christopher Keith Hall, Amnesty International Senior Legal Adviser.
“The current procedure allows victims of crimes under international law to act quickly against those suspected of them, who could otherwise enter and leave the UK before police and prosecutors could act. It should remain unchanged,” said Christopher Keith Hall.
Under current UK law, victims of war crimes, torture and hostage-taking can mount private prosecutions against suspected perpetrators in any country, regardless of nationality or where the crime was committed, under the international rule of universal jurisdiction.
Amnesty International rejected claims that the existing system has been subject to abuse.
“Magistrates have carefully screened each request for such a warrant, refused some and issued others which met strict standards of evidence. There have been no examples – and the UK government has cited none – where magistrates have issued arrest warrants based on ‘flimsy evidence’,” said Christopher Keith Hall.
Victims already need to meet a high threshold of evidence in order to obtain an arrest warrant.
Amnesty International warned that the UK government has in the past refused to prosecute those suspected of torture, such as former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet.