UK'S HAGUE ACCUSED OF COMPLICITY IN PAKISTAN DRONE STRIKES
- Lawyers for the family of a man killed in a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan said they would begin legal action against Britain'sForeign Secretary William Hague on Monday, March 12 accusing him of complicity in strikes they say broke international laws.
According to Reuters, London law firm Leigh Day & Co said it had "credible, unchallenged" evidence that Hague oversaw a policy of passing British intelligence to U.S. forces planning attacks against militants in Pakistan. It plans to issue formal proceedings against Hague at the High Court in London on behalf of Noor Khan, whose father was died in a drone attack last year.
Malik Daud Khan was part of a local "jirga", or council of elders holding a meeting in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan when a missile fired from the drone hit the group, the law firm said. Leigh Day & Co will argue that those involved in armed attacks can only claim immunity from criminal law if they are "lawful combatants" taking part in an "international armed conflict".
Khan's lawyers will say that staff working at UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in southwest England, Britain's main intelligence monitoring centre, may have broken the law. As civilians, they are not classed as combatants and could be prosecuted, the law firm said.
A Foreign Office spokesman said it did not comment on ongoing legal proceedings. Asked whether Britain helps the United States in drone attacks, the spokesman added: "We don't comment on intelligence matters".
A key ally of Washington in neighbouring Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, Britain has around 9,500 soldiers in the country. The deaths of six British soldiers in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday brought the British death toll to more than 400.
- 1846 Opening of the Armenian Circus (the "Aram Theatre") in Constantinople.
- 1854 Birth of epidemiologist Margar Aroostamov (Aroostamian) in Shooshee.
- 1898 Birth of writer, literary figure, and artist Aram Yeremian in Marzvan (Western Armenia). He made a great contribution to further develop the art of Armenian minstrel songs.
- 1900 Birth of the founder of Armenian circus arts, the equilibrist Vagharshak Arzoomanyan.
- 1906 Birth of the scholar, professor and doctor of historical sciences, Hmayak Harootyoonian in Lamzkert (Van Province of Western Armenia). He studied medieval Armenian history.
- 1918 The Turkish army re-occupies Karin (Erzroom, Western Armenia).
- 1922 Representatives of the Central Executive Committees of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbajan, meeting in Tbilissi (Georgia), create the Transcaucasian Federation.
- 1965 Opening of the National Assembly of Repatriated Armenians, in Yerevan's Spendiaryan Opera and Ballet Hall.
- 1966 Death of Norayr Seessakyan, biologist, public speaker, and professor.