Guardian: Those involved in drone strikes could face murder charges

May 10, 2016 ,

British drone pilots, intelligence officers and ministers could face murder charges if the government does not clarify its policies on targeted killing, a parliamentary committee has warned.

Confusion over the precise legal justification exposes frontline personnel and all those involved in decisions to launch lethal attacks outside warzones to “criminal prosecution for murder or complicity in murder”, according to a report by the joint committee on human rights (JCHR).

Although the Crown Prosecution Service is highly unlikely to pursue such a case in the UK, other nations might do so, for example if their citizens were killed abroad, its MPs and peers caution.

No inquest has been held into the deaths of Khan and Amin. Khan’s local MP, Kevin Brennan, asked ministers if there should not be a coroner’s court case to help establish “the legal parameters in such cases”. Unless a body is repatriated, a coroner is under no obligation to investigate.

The JCHR report adds: “While this is theoretically possible, if the family of the UK national were to repatriate the body of their family member, it does not appear to have been an issue in relation to any of the UK nationals who are known to have been killed by drone strikes in Syria. It therefore seems unlikely that there will be a coroner’s inquest into any of those deaths.”

Read in full on the Guardian website here.