In the UK I believe that we have a fair and impartial justice system and as writer of crime thrillers my police characters always try to live within the law. Investigators collect evidence which is presented to a court, a jury determine guilt before a judge determines the penalty.

It was the failure to follow these principles that led to much of the outrage when Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran declared a death fatwa on Salman Rushdie. It wasn’t just the content but the arbitrariness and lack of proper process that offended.

As Iran once was, North Korea is today’s outlaw state and just like Iran, North Korea and their President Jong-un Kim have taken international law into their own hands acting as investigator, jury, and judge. But, while Rushdie’s case caused massive international reaction, including sending the object of Iran’s hate into hiding and exile, the news headline I saw yesterday has not caused a tiny ripple of conversation.

North Korea sentences Donald Trump to death

Few can support North Korea and its very unclear aims, and there are polarised opinions on President Trump, but surely, they have gone too far this time. The arbitrary sentencing of a US President to death is clearly very wrong and should be condemned. While I can think of many reasons to bring him in front of a Court, I cannot imagine any of them are capital offences.

North Korea and their President Jong-un Kim however seem to disagree and in their effort to start a nuclear war have ‘trumped’ up a new criminal charge:

North Korea sentences Donald Trump to death …….. for being a ‘hideous criminal‘*

I agree that President Trump’s hair looks like a very bad wig and he appears orange in every photograph I see but this is going too far. If being hideous and repulsive is now considered an international crime, then many a politician needs to be wary and the International Court of Justice will be very busy.

In this topsy-turvy world of modern geopolitics nothing now surprises me.

*International Business Times 15th November 2017

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