UK plot­ting to help As­sad dodge war crime probe

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News -

BRI­TISH diplo­mats are se­cretly plot­ting to help Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad es­cape jus­tice for his al­leged war crimes.

The shock move comes only months af­ter As­sad’s most re­cent chem­i­cal at­tacks – and fol­lows For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son’s dec­la­ra­tion that As­sad is an ‘arch ter­ror­ist’ who should face a crim­i­nal probe for his part in a war that has killed half a mil­lion peo­ple.

The se­cret UK plan to en­sure the dic­ta­tor clings to power for the time be­ing and avoids be­ing put on trial is re­vealed in a let­ter by a For­eign Of­fice Min­is­ter who adds: ‘There is a change afoot, al­beit with a clear re­tire­ment/ex­ile plan for As­sad to be agreed.’

A For­eign Of­fice spokesman last night re­fused to com­ment on the Min­is­ter’s let­ter and stated the of­fi­cial line: ‘There needs to be a tran­si­tion away from As­sad to a govern­ment that can pro­tect the rights of all Syr­i­ans, unite the coun­try and end the con­flict.’

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