Raoul Moat, the man at the centre of a massive search in Northumbria after declaring war on the police, is not in breach of the Geneva Convention, say experts.
Moat, 37, broke off all diplomatic relations with the police on Monday, and shot one of their officers in Newcastle, after which, he proceeded to Birtley near Gateshead and shot dead the boyfriend of his own ex-girlfriend.
Northumbria Police mobilised all of their available forces to confront their enemy, but couldn't find him anywhere. Then, last night, in a desperate attempt to flush him out of his hidey-hole, a leading policeman told the media that, if this was a war, then Moat had broken the terms of the Geneva Convention.
This morning though, after I had had a chance to look through it, I can see nowhere in the Treaty where Moat has overstepped the boundaries.
The Convention since 1949, has comprised
1) the First Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, 1864;
2) the Second Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, 1906;
3) the Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 1929 and;
4) the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 1949
With regard to 1) and 2), Moat's treatment of the wounded and sick has been exemplary; he neither mistreated those wounded or sick, nor did he imprison them in conditions unfit for human habitation.
As far as 3) goes, Moat took no prisoners, and in relation to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the sick bastard had already made it abundantly clear that his quarrel was with the police, and that ordinary citizens had nothing to fear, thus ridiculing the claim by the police that he had broken the terms of the Convention.
He's still a bit of a nutter though, isn't he?