British Journalist Fails to Make Citizen's Arrest of John Bolton During U.K. Trip

John Bolton managed to escape a British journalist's attempt to place him under citizen's arrest Wednesday evening at a festival in Wales.

The Telegraph newspaper reported that Guardian columnist George Monbiot, a critic of the Iraq war, tried to arrest the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations as he was exiting the stage at the Hay Literary Festival. The Telegraph earlier reported that Monbiot would try to arrest Bolton for war crimes.

According to the article, Monbiot was blocked by two security guards, and Bolton was ushered away even as Monbiot attempted to dart after him once he was released. Monbiot reportedly said he was "disappointed" he was unable to make the arrest.

"This was a serious attempt to bring one of the perpetrators of the Iraq war to justice, for what is described under the Nuremberg Principles as an international crime," he was quoted as saying.

Bolton was appearing at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales to promote his new book, "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations."

Monbiot has been pushing his authority to make the arrest, claiming Section 24A of Britain's Serious Organized Crime and Police Act 2005 gives individuals the authority to arrest without a warrant "anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty" of an offense.

He argues that Bolton helped plan the war in Iraq when he was undersecretary of state for arms control at the State Department, using information he knew to be false.

Hay Festival organizers told the Telegraph newspaper earlier that Monbiot's effort would be "completely unlawful."

“The Hay Festival has sought the advice of both police and lawyers, and has been unequivocally assured that a citizen’s arrest, or an attempt to instigate a citizen’s arrest, would be completely unlawful in these circumstances,” Director Peter Florence was quoted saying. “The Hay Festival remains committed to providing a platform for speakers from a diverse range of political and social backgrounds."

Before the event, a spokeswoman for Bolton told that he has been aware of the controversy for about a week but would appear as planned.

She said Monbiot "has a reputation for doing this type of stuff, he has no basis for doing this but evidently he's known for this kind of foolish stuff."

She added that the festival has security, and Bolton "didn't have to go there," but flew over there because he was undeterred by Monbiot's threats.

Click here to read the Telegraph newspaper article.