Brown: "Politically motivated" arest warrants for war criminals will be stopped

UK plans to end 'politically-motivated' arrest warrants

The UK is planning to stop attempts to secure "politically-motivated" private arrest warrants for visiting foreign officials, the prime minister has said.

Campaigners have applied to the courts to have a number of high-profile figures detained, most recently former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

Magistrates currently are asked to consider the applications.

The Crown Prosecution Service could now decide if warrants are issued for alleged international law violations.

A warrant for the arrest of Ms Livni was issued at Westminster Magistrates' Court in December last year after moves by pro-Palestinian campaigners angry at Israeli action in Gaza.

The move sparked complaints by the Israeli government and saw Ms Livni cancel her visit.

'National interest'

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Brown said that Britain would "continue to take action to prosecute or extradite suspected war criminals - regardless of their status or power".

He cited the case of Afghan warlord Faryadi Zardad, found guilty of torture and hostage taking in his home country who was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment at the Old Bailey in 2006.

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