An attempt to have former US secretary of state Mr Henry Kissinger arrested in Britain for alleged war crimes has failed.
Human Rights campaigner Mr Peter Tatchell applied at Bow Street Magistrates' Court for a warrant for the arrest of Dr Kissinger under the Geneva Conventions Act 1957.
The charges alleged that the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize winner "commissioned, aided and abetted and procured war crimes in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia".
The charges related to alleged offences while Mr Kissinger was national security adviser to the US president from 1969 to 1975 and US secretary of state from 1973 to 1977.
District Judge Nicholas Evans told Mr Tatchell that he needed the Attorney General's consent to proceed. He told Mr Tatchell: "Without the Attorney General's consent there is nothing I can do".
Mr Tatchell said he would seek clarification on the matter in the hope that legal action could be taken against Dr Kissinger this week, when he is expected in London for a conference.
After the hearing Mr Tatchell said: "I expect the Attorney General to enforce the Geneva Conventions Act by agreeing to prosecute Henry Kissinger.
"If he is unwilling to do so I am seeking his permission to bring a private prosecution. It will cost many thousands of pounds but we will find some way to sort that out. There are no immunities from prosecution. No one is beyond the law".
Mr Tatchell said he would not be attempting a citizen's arrest upon Dr Kissinger who is due to address the Institute of Directors at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday.