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George W Bush Cancels Visit to Switzerland Over Fears he Could be Arrested

 
 
 
 
 
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The former President had been due to address a dinner next weekend.

Former US President George W Bush has cancelled a visit to Switzerland amid concerns he could be arrested.

The former leader had been due to speak at a charity gala, making the keynote speech at Keren Hayesod’s annual dinner on February 12.

But human rights groups in the country have been calling for the Swiss government to arrest him over allegations he ordered the torture of prisoners.

Court officials have said criminal complaints against Mr Bush have been lodged in Geneva but Swiss officials said he would enjoy some diplomatic immunity as a former head of state.

Torture is a crime under international law and human rights experts say absolute prohibition is very clear.

Some left wing groups had called for a protest on the day of his visit.

Keren Hayesod’s organisers said they felt the atmosphere had become too threatening.

“We didn’t want to put people and property in Geneva at risk,” said the group’s lawyer Robert Equey.

“The gala is maintained but George Bush will not take part. The criminal complaints did not weigh in the decision,” he added.

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