The law could be changed to close a legal loophole that allows suspected criminals from the Rwandan genocide to live in the UK and avoid prosecution.
During a joint press conference with Rwandan President Paul Kagame at Number 10 Downing Street, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned suspected war criminals that they would no longer be able to hide from justice under the proposed changes.
Currently, under UK law anyone suspected of crimes against humanity, war crimes or genocide cannot be prosecuted if the crimes took place before 2001.
The proposals, which would also affect suspected war criminals from the former Yugoslavia, were published by the UK’s Justice Secretary Jack Straw Tues 7th July.
Speaking at the press conference, the Brown said, ‘my message to those accused is simply – your time is up. You may have run from responsibility but you can no longer hide from justice.’
He told President Kagame, ‘I hope that the actions that we take together and particularly what I have announced today will make Rwanda more secure and increase our collective confidence that justice will always in the end prevail.’
For his part, President Kagame said he appreciates the British Government’s ‘commitment to dealing with the justice problems that have faced our country and in this particular case, the way you have been approaching how to deal with the fugitives, the suspects of genocide… It is important that as we develop, as we move forward, as we reconcile, that justice always needs to be seen to be done.’
The two leaders also discussed the global economic crisis and the Copenhagen meeting on climate change that will take place in December.