Friday, 29 January 2016

Are David Cameron and Michael Fallon murderers in Scots Law? Letter to Police Scotland of 13th November 2015

On 7th September 2015 the Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the Royal Air Force had, on 21st August 2015, killed two British citizens, Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin and a third unnamed person in a drone strike.

A key question in my view is whether David Cameron and Michael Fallon committed the offence of murder in Scots Law.

Below is my letter of 13th November 2015 to Police Scotland.

In Scots Law there is a concept of "art and part" which is broadly similar to the notion of "joint enterprise" in English Law.

On the basis of the doctrine of "art and part" I believe that David Cameron and Michael Fallon committed murder on 21st August 2015.

Here is the text of the letter to Police Scotland:



13th November 2015

To:
Chief Constable Sir Stephen House
ACC Malcolm Graham
Police Scotland
[By email]

Dear Chief Constable and ACC Graham,
British Military Action in Iraq and Syria
  1. The murders on 21st August 2015 of Reyaad Khan, Ruhul Amin and another by David Cameron MP, Michael Fallon MP and others
  2. Offences contrary to Section 1 of the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 by David Cameron MP, Michael Fallon MP and others
  3. Offences contrary to Section 56 of the Terrorism Act 2000 by David Cameron MP, Michael Fallon MP and others
I write to report to you as Chief Constable and to Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham suspected serious crimes in connection with the killing on 21st August 2015 of Reyaad Khan, Ruhul Amin and another unnamed individual by the Royal Air Force.
It seems to me that you each have a duty to ensure that these suspected crimes are thoroughly investigated.
The issues which these killings raise are extensive and complex and, in my estimation at least, are likely to constitute one or more of the criminal offences listed in the heading of this letter.
Questions of jurisdiction arise and I will attempt to deal with those later in this letter.
The facts
On or around 5th September 2014 David Cameron MP indicated to the media that it was the policy of his Government to “destroy or degrade ISIL”.
On 7th September 2015 Mr. Cameron made a statement to the House of Commons (recorded in the House of Commons Hansard for that date) in which he disclosed that the Royal Air Force had targeted and killed Reyaad Khan, resulting in his death and the death of Ruhul Amin and another unnamed individual.
The statement made by Mr. Cameron does not make it easy to construct a timeline of events. Parts of Mr. Cameron’s statements are visibly self-justifying and some, so it seems to me, are dishonest.
However, it is possible to construct an approximate series of events.
On an undisclosed date UK intelligence operatives (whether from MI5 and/or MI6 is unclear) identified an alleged threat to some part(s) of the UK.
The information from the intelligence agencies was considered by Ministers (and likely others) in the context of some possibly ad hoc subcommittee of the National Security Council.
Mr. Cameron and Mr. Fallon were named in the Prime Minister’s statement of 7th September 2015 as being party to the process.
A decision was taken, should the opportunity arise, premeditatedly to kill Reyaad Khan.
After what Mr. Cameron stated to be “meticulous planning”, on 21st August 2015 the RAF carried out the murders of Mr. Khan, Mr. Amin and another by means of a “precision airstrike”.
The interaction of National and International Law
In his statement of 7th September 2015 Mr. Cameron stated that, according to the advice of the Attorney General Jeremy Wright MP, there was a “clear legal basis for action in International Law.”
Mr. Cameron (and, I assume, Mr. Wright) were silent on the situation in National Law, whether Scots Law or English Law.
Broadly, my understanding is that for an action to be lawful it requires to be so in both National Law and in International Law.
My view is that Mr. Cameron and Mr. Wright were silent on the question as to the application of National Law (whether Scots Law or English Law) since, in my opinion at least, the premeditated killings of Mr. Khan, Mr. Amin and the unnamed third victim are clearly murder.
Jurisdiction
It seems to me that with respect to the suspected offences contrary to section 1 of the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 and the Terrorism Act 2000 that the respective statutes indicate directly or implicitly that Police Scotland has jurisdiction wherever those offences may have been committed.
The situation with respected to suspected murder is somewhat more complex and/or uncertain in my estimation.
I cannot identify any authority which indicates whether or not anything in Scots Law claims global jurisdiction with respect to the murder of a British subject in a manner similar to that given effect in English Law by Section 9 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
Should Police Scotland have jurisdiction I ask that the suspected crimes of murder urgently be recorded and investigated.
Should Police Scotland consider that it does not have jurisdiction with respect to the suspected murders I ask that you ensure that the suspected crimes are referred to a senior Police officer in a Police force in England or Northern Ireland where, in my understanding, Section 9 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 applies.
Suspected murders
It is clear from the information given by Mr. Cameron in his statement of 7th September 2015 that the killing of Reyaad Khan was a premeditated act by a number of individuals including Mr. Cameron and Mr. Fallon.
The question which requires to be answered is whether the UK Government had a lawful basis in UK Law for the killings it carried out on 21st August 2015.
Not since mediaeval times, so far as I’m aware, has the Crown claimed the right to kill a citizen who has not had the opportunity to have a fair trial before a properly constituted Court.
In addition, it is some years since the death penalty was removed from the penalties which a Court in Scotland or England could impose for the most serious crimes such as murder.
Mr. Khan, Mr. Amin and the unnamed victim were not tried before a Court, other than, so it seems, a kangaroo court consisting of some possibly ad hoc subcommittee of the UK’s National Security Council.
I can identify no basis in the legal systems of the UK which gives the State or the Prime Minister or the Secretary of State for Defence the lawful authority to kill a British Citizen.
My conclusion is that Mr. Cameron and Mr. Fallon (together with others) on 21st August 2015 murdered Reyaad Khan, Ruhul Amin and an unnamed other.
Given my belief that Mr. Khan, Mr. Amin and another were murdered I am reporting the suspected crimes to you in your respective roles as Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable of Police Scotland.
Offences contrary to Section 1 of the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001
Killing of the members of a religious group is an offence in Scots Law as expressed in Section 1 of the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 and the related Schedule of the Act.
Mr. Cameron’s public statements of September 2014 make it clear that the UK Government intended to destroy ISIL.
It is clear, not least from the term “Islamic” in the name Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant that ISIL is, at least arguably, a religious group.
Part of the application of Mr. Cameron’s intention has been the killing of members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The killings on 21st August 2015 of Reyaad Khan, Ruhul Amin and the unnamed third victim are merely one expression of Mr. Cameron’s policy.
In my estimation the UK Government policy, to which Mr. Cameron and Mr. Fallon subscribe, has resulted in multiple acts by UK Government Ministers and British military personnel which constitute offences contrary to Section 1 of the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001.
Section 29 of the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 clearly states the Crown is bound. In Scots Law the Crown is bound.
Should you decide, wrongly in my view, that Police Scotland does not have jurisdiction the acts of Mr. Cameron and Mr. Fallon comparably constitute offences contrary to Section 51 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001.
Section 78 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001 binds the Crown in English Law.
Offences contrary to Section 56 of the Terrorism Act 2000
It is clear from Mr. Cameron’s statements that Mr. Khan, Mr. Amin and the unnamed third victim were killed in pursuance of Mr. Cameron’s stated policy to destroy and degrade ISIL.
Such killing for a political motive is, as I understand the Law, “terrorism” as defined in Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000 wherever such acts of terrorism may have taken place.
In Mr. Cameron’s statement of 7th September 2015 it is clear that he and Michael Fallon MP directed those acts of terrorism.
I therefore conclude that Mr. Cameron and Mr. Fallon committed offences contrary to Section 56 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Limitations inherent in this letter
I do not attempt in this letter to make a case either for the prosecution or defence as might be expressed in a criminal trial as they apply to the suspected criminal offences of Mr. Cameron and Mr. Fallon.
I simply state a brief outline of the facts (to the limited extent that they have currently been disclosed) which cause me to believe that criminal offences have been committed by David Cameron MP, Michael Fallon MP and others.
I believe I have provided you, Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable, with sufficient information regarding the prima facie evidence that Mr. Cameron and Mr. Fallon may have committed one or more of the serious criminal offences enumerated in this letter to engage your repsective duties promptly to investigate these suspected crimes and/or, where necessary, to refer one or more of these matters to a Police force in another part of the United Kingdom.
Referral to the International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 created criminal offences in Scots Law.
However, suspected “genocide” is, so I understand, also a matter for the International Criminal Court.
I invite Police Scotland and the First Minister (who is a copy recipient of this letter) to consider whether and how these matters should be reported to the International Criminal Court.
Distribution
Determining whether or not criminal offences have been committed is a matter for the Police, in the first instance. However, public interest in these killings is not confined to that question. Broader political questions also arise.
I am copying this letter to the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, with respect to the issues relating to possible referral to the International Criminal Court.
Broader political issues also arise. Accordingly I am copying this letter to Kevin Brennan MP (Mr. Khan’s constituency MP) and to Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Opposition.
I am also copying this letter to my constituency MP, Stuart Donaldson, and Alex Salmond MP, Foreign Affairs spokesman for the SNP.
I am also submitting a copy of this letter as Written Evidence to the Human Rights Committee, which is a joint committee of the House of Commons and House of Lords, in the context of its Inquiry entitled “UK Government’s policy on the use of drones for targeted killing”.
I am also copying this letter to Chris Coverdale.
Prevention of crime – prevention of additional murders
As Police officers, Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable, you each have a duty to prevent crime.
Media reports indicate that the UK Government has authorised the murder of other British subjects as the opportunity arises by means similar to those used to murder Reyaad Khan, Ruhul Amin and the third unnamed victim.
I ask that as a matter of urgency you take all available steps to ensure that further murders of a similar kind cannot take place.
Actions expected of Police Scotland
The issues I have drawn to your attention, Chief Constable House and Assistant Chief Constable Graham, are of great seriousness, considerable complexity and of enormous public interest.
I expect that you will, as a matter of urgency, carefully consider whether Police Scotland has jurisdiction in these important matters and inform me in writing of your conclusions.
Should, for example with respect to the suspected murders, consider that jurisdiction cannot lie with Police Scotland I expect that I will be informed as to which senior Police officer in any other Police force that you have referred this matter to as a report of suspected crime.
Whether or not you consider that jurisdiction re the reported suspected crimes lie with Police Scotland I ask you to take all steps to ensure that Mr. Cameron and Mr. Fallon cannot carry out similar murders in the future.

I look forward to receiving early written acknowledgement of this letter indicating that you will carefully assess the matters raised herein.
Yours sincerely


(Dr) Andrew Watt

Cc
Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister
Kevin Brennan MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Stuart Donaldson MP
Alex Salmond MP
Harriet Harman MP, Human Rights Committee of the UK Parliament
Chris Coverdale

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