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27-06-2019 12:02 | Read 202 times

UK broke law in allowing arms exports to Saudis: court

BRITAIN broke the law by allowing arms sales to Saudi Arabia that might have been deployed in the war in Yemen

UK broke law in allowing arms exports to Saudis: court

BRITAIN broke the law by allowing arms sales to Saudi Arabia that might have been deployed in the war in Yemen, an English court ruled on Thursday after activists said there was evidence the weapons had been used in violation of human rights statutes.

While the court's decision does not mean Britain must immediately halt arms exports to Saudi Arabia, it does mean that there is a stay on the granting of new export licenses to sell arms to the kingdom -- Britain's biggest weapons purchaser.

The United Nations has described the conflict in Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of people including thousands of civilians, as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

"The Court of Appeal has concluded that the process of decision-making by the government was wrong in law in one significant respect," said Terence Etherton, England's second most senior judge.

Handing down the ruling, Mr Etherton said the government made "no concluded assessments of whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of international humanitarian law in the past, during the Yemen conflict".

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