GCHQ staff secondary parties to murder from drone attacks.
Civilian staff at GCHQ risk being prosecuted for war crimes as a result of a legal action started on Monday 12th March.
For allegedly providing information for the CIA’s ‘targeted killing’ programme. Reports suggest GCHQ, for which William Hague the foreign secretary is responsible, provides locational intelligence to the US. GCHQ have justified their forwarding of information as being in ‘strict accordance’ with the law, a claim contested by lawyers.
The legal action brought by Leigh day& Co and the charity Reprieve is aginst Hague on behalf of Noor Khan whose father was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan. Leigh Day argue ‘there is significant risk the GCHQ officers may be guilty of conduct ancilliary to crimes against humanity and/or war crimes.
Only individuals entitled to immunity from ordinary criminal law in respect of armed attacks are considered ‘lawful combatants’ under international law. Leigh and Day say that staff at GCHQ are civilians , not combatants and there is no recognised international armed conflict in Pakistan.
Lawyers want to discover if there is UK policy or guidance dealing with the circumstances of passing information which the US uses for drone attacks.