AG to Examine UK Call for Indictment in Photographer's Killing

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz will thoroughly examine the British government's demand that Israeli soldiers be indicted for murder, in the killing of photographer James Miller in Gaza in 2003, Israel promised London over the weekend.

However, in his conversation with Mark Lyall Grant, political director of the British Foreign Office, Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor warned that Mazuz may not be able to complete his check by tomorrow, as London has demanded.

As Haaretz reported yesterday, Peter Goldsmith, then Britain's attorney general, wrote Mazuz on June 26 to detail what he termed new information and said that if Mazuz did not respond within six weeks, legal proceedings would be launched in Britain against the commander of the force that shot Miller - who was cleared in a disciplinary hearing - and other soldiers and officers. This would necessitate seeking the soldiers' extradition under the Israel-Britain extradition treaty.

The British Foreign Office told Miller's family that Israel thinks the dispute can be resolved by payment of compensation to Miller's widow. However, Lyall Grant told Prosor, the proposed compensation will have to be increased substantially from the sum on offer until now.

Miller's brother, John, told Haaretz yesterday that the sum Israel is currently offering is "insulting," equal to only two years of the slain photographer's earnings. He also said that he doubted Israel would either extradite the soldiers or try them itself, and even if it did try them, he doubted that justice would be done in an Israeli court.

Jonathan Lis adds: In response, the Justice Ministry said that Mazuz thoroughly examined the case when Britain first protested the military advocate general's decision not to indict the soldiers, but has agreed to do so again in response to the new British appeal, and will respond "promptly, according to the Israeli authorities' timetable."