Scotland Yard is examining allegations of war crimes by Saudi Arabia in Yemen
the Guardian revealed, triggering a possible diplomatic row with Britain on the eve of Theresa May’s visit to the Arab state.The Metropolitan police confirmed that their war crimes unit was assessing whether criminal prosecutions could be brought over Saudi Arabia’s devastating aerial campaign in yemen.
the trip of May’s comes under the shadow of a war in Yemen that has killed more than 10,000 civilians and displaced more than 3 million people. The Saudi-led coalition has been accused of killing thousands of civilians and triggering a humanitarian catastrophe in one of the region’s poorest countries.
The UK, which along with the US supports the Saudis against the Houthis, has been urged to reconsider its arms exports to Saudi Arabia in light of the bloody air campaign
In a letter from a detective inspector in which has been seen by the Guardian, Scotland Yard said: “I can confirm we have commenced a scoping exercise into the allegations you have raised regarding potential crimes in Yemen, committed by the international coalition who have intervened in the conflict between pro- and anti-government forces.”
Officers are carrying out the scoping exercise to assess whether a full-scale investigation is justified into the war crimes allegations. It is understood that detectives are to examine whether there is an identifiable suspect and, if not, whether there is a realistic prospect of identifying one.
reporting by the Scotland Yard letter, which said: “The prosecuting authorities are legally obliged to seek out and, where the evidence permits, prosecute (or extradite for prosecution) those in their jurisdiction who are suspected of war crimes.