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Brits Push for Blair’s Trial After Chilcot Report
International

Brits Push for Blair’s Trial After Chilcot Report

A group of families of British soldiers killed in Iraq are preparing to use the results of the Chilcot inquiry to push for Tony Blair’s trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, Middle East Eye can reveal.
The informal group is set to take legal action after the report was published on 6 July, and is also considering a civil case in UK courts against various British politicians and generals.
Rose Gentle, 52, who lost her son Gordon in Iraq in 2004, said the “one hope” from Chilcot is that “Blair is finally held to account for his lies”.
Gordon Gentle was killed by a roadside bomb in Basra while on patrol with the Royal Highland Fusiliers. He was 19 and had been in Iraq for three weeks.
His mother has campaigned for justice for her son for 12 years, including taking his case to the High Court, and was a founding member of Military Families Against War group.
She blames one man above all others for his death.
“Blair lied and Chilcot needs to hold him to account, but I’m afraid the inquiry has dragged on so long that we might not get all the answers we want,” she told MEE.
“The more I see Blair the angrier I get. He doesn’t show any compassion. I always had wanted to confront him, but I’m not sure I could see him, unless I was sitting opposite him in court. It all boils down to him. He was the prime minister. He called the shots.”
She added: “The next step for us, if Chilcot does bring out the evidence that he lied, is that Blair should face a tribunal in the Hague. We are going to take legal advice.”
Key points from the 2.6 million word verdict on the Iraq war:
The UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before “peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted” and “military action at that time was not a last resort”.
Saddam Hussein posed “no imminent threat” at the time of the invasion.
No support for Blair critics’ claim that he agreed a deal “signed in blood” to topple Saddam with US President George W Bush in April 2002.
But in July 2002 Blair wrote to Bush: “I will be with you whatever.”
11 revealing private notes between Tony Blair and George W Bush published in the Chilcot Report
The UK’s decision to act despite no second UN resolution backing military action in March 2003 had the effect of “undermining the Security Council’s authority”.
Attorney General Lord Goldsmith’s decision that there was a legal basis for UK involvement in invasion was taken in a way which was “far from satisfactory”.
Prime Minister Tony Blair’s September 2002 Commons statement and dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) made judgments that “were presented with a certainty that was not justified”.
How Tony Blair and Jack Straw shaped ‘dodgy dossier’ on Iraq
The Labour government’s policy on Iraq was made on the basis of “flawed intelligence and assessments” that should have been challenged.
The consequences of the invasion were “under-estimated”, and planning and preparation for after the overthrow of Saddam were “wholly inadequate”.
The Government’s war preparations “failed to take into account the magnitude of the task of stabilizing, administering and reconstructing Iraq”.
Problems that arose following the invasion, including internal fighting, Iranian influences, regional instability and al Qaeda activity, were flagged as risks before the invasion.
Whitehall mandarins and departmental ministers “failed to put their collective weight behind the task” of stabilizing British parts of post-war Iraq.
The Ministry of Defence was slow to respond to the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to troops.
Delays in providing better-protected patrol vehicles “should not have been tolerated”.
It was “humiliating” that by 2007 British troops in Basra had to use prisoner exchanges to get militias to stop targeting them.
Tony Blair “overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq”.
The US/UK special relationship has proved “strong enough to bear the weight of honest disagreement” and “does not require unconditional support where our interests or judgments differ”.

 

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