Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ex-Shin Bet head and ex-minister Dichter cancels visit to Spain out of fear for arrest

MK Avi Dichter (Kadima) was planning on taking part in an international peace summit in Spain over the weekend, but was forced to cancel over fears he would be arrested, and possibly imprisoned, by Madrid authorities, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday. According to report several days ago, a Spanish organization called The Madrid Coalition, invited Israeli and Palestinian representatives to take part in a summit focusing on the peace process and the Saudi initiative.
The Madrid Coalition works in cooperation with the former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos. The summit organizers decided to invite a small group of MKs from Israel to take part in the summit. Former Shin Bet Chief MK Avi Dichter was set to lead the delegation.
Earlier this week, Dichter requested to look into the possibility that he may face legal action in Spain over complaints against him for his involvement in the Salah Shehade assassination, which took place when Dichter was head of Shin Bet) and for his involvement in Operation Cast Lead, Dichter was Ministerof Public Security at the time). After looking into the legal aspects of the situation,
Madrid officials told Dichter that Spain did not intend to offer him immunity from arrest or interrogation, after which he cancelled his participation in the event. 

Dichter is not the frst to get in trouble in this way. Former Foreign minister Tizipi Livni (Kadima) and former Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon had to cancel visits to London in 2009 for similar reasons. A warrant was also issued in Britain for Ehud Barak, but as an acting member of government the case did not have a chance in court.  (more about that here, in Dutch)  

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