A British newspaper revealed efforts led by human rights lawyers to file a legal complaint before the British courts to prosecute prominent figures in Saudi Arabia and the UAE implicated in war crimes in Yemen.
Toby Cadma, wrote in “The Guardian” newspaper that the lawyers plan to submit a dossier to British police and prosecutors alleging that about 20 members of the political and military elite of the two Gulf nations are guilty of crimes against humanity, and call for their immediate arrest should they enter the UK.
The lawyers have spent nearly a year bringing the fresh case against the Saudi and Emirati leaderships, and will submit a 200-page dossier to the Met and the Crown Prosecution Service, including evidence from the families of civilians killed by airstrikes from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
It will focus on three controversial events, including an airstrike by coalition jets on a school bus in northern Yemen in August 2018, which killed at least 26 children and wounded at least 19 more. The second incident was the bombing of a funeral in the capital, Sana’a, in October 2016, which is believed to have killed at least 140 people and wounded a further 600. At the time the Saudi-led coalition acknowledged responsibility for the attack.
Finally, evidence will be submitted relating to the alleged torture and murder of civilians in Aden, in southern Yemen, by Colombian mercenaries under the command of a US private military company contracted to the United Arab Emirates.
Cadman said his firm was relying on the principle of universal jurisdiction under UK law, which applies to crimes such as war crimes and torture. “Under UK law there is no requirement for the crimes to be committed on UK territory or there to be UK victims or UK defendants,” he added.
Neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE are parties to the international criminal court in The Hague, so it is not possible to bring a case there.