Jump to content

America flouted law by flying bombs to Israel through Britain


Recommended Posts

America flouted law by flying bombs to Israel through Britain


By JASON LEWIS Last updated at 22:00pm on 7th October 2006


The US Government flouted British and international law to fly bunker-busting bombs through UK airports to bolster Israeli raids on Lebanon.

Washington failed to tell Britain it was flying the weapons in and out of Prestwick in Scotland - potentially putting lives and the airport at risk.

The revelation once again undermines Tony Blair's assertion that he has not allowed the country to become America's 'poodle'.

The Crown Office in Scotland is considering prosecutions over two flights carrying consignments of laser-guided bombs which landed at Prestwick, near Glasgow, in July.

At the time, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett savaged the US after learning it was secretly using Britain as a staging-post to resupply the Israeli bombardment of Hezbollah strongholds which killed hundreds of civilians.

But it has only now emerged that moving the weapons through Britain was a blatant breach of international aviation laws.

The Scottish authorities will now decide whether to mount a legal case that could lead to heavy fines and a possible ban on the airline involved landing in Britain.

The two Boeing 747s, owned by US freight airline Kalitta Air, landed at Prestwick on July 21 and 23 from San Antonio, Texas. They were refuelled and the crew changed before they flew on to Tel Aviv.

Kalitta Air regularly works for the US Air Mobility Command - part of the US Air Force - to ship munitions for operations around the world.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that an investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) revealed that the aircraft missions did not have appropriate clearance.

According to the papers, Prestwick airport's freight-handling department was 'advised verbally that there was a small amount of dangerous cargo (ie explosives) on board'.

In fact, the operator required special permission to 'carry munitions of war in UK airspace'.

The Department for Transport document says: "There was no record of any application being received by the CAA for such an exception and consequently the conditions that would have been applied to safeguard persons and property at Prestwick were not in place."

It has also emerged that Crown prosecutors based in Ayrshire, which covers Prestwick airport, had been in talks with the CAA about a prosecution.

A spokesman for the Crown Office in Scotland, the Scottish equivalent of the CPS, said: "We have received a report from the CAA which is being considered by the procurator fiscal's office in Ayrshire."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...