Tony Blair cannot be prosecuted over Iraq war, High Court rules

Monday, July 31, 2017

Tony Blair cannot be prosecuted over the Iraq war, the High Court has ruled.

Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Lord Chief Justice, and Mr Justice Ouseley, dismissed an application from former Iraqi general Abdul Wahed Shannan Al Rabbat.

The general claimed Blair was guilty of a "crime of aggression" by invading Iraq in 2003, and was seeking a judicial review to overturn a 2006 House of Lords ruling that such an offence does not constitute a crime under English law.

In addition to Blair, Al Rabbat had also pushed for the prosecution of former foreign secretary Jack Straw and attorney general Lord Goldsmith.

Al Rabbat's lawyer, Michael Mansfield, had argued that the crime of waging an aggressive war had been absorbed into English law, citing the cases brought against the leaders of Nazi Germany by British prosecutor Sir Hartley Shawcross at the end of the second world war. He also told the court "it was an unlawful war."

However the judges at Westminster Magistrates' Court said there was "no prospect" of Al Rabbat's case being successful.

Blair has faced concerted criticism over his decision to invade Iraq, centring on suggestions that the war was unnecessary and that he misled the British public.

Earlier this month Lord Chilcot, the man who led an inquiry into the Iraq war, said Blair was "not straight" with the British public over the decision to invade 14 years ago, and had used beliefs, rather than facts, to reach the decision.

talkRADIO presenter George Galloway has also produced his own documentary on the Iraq war, entitled The Killings of Tony Blair.

However Blair has consistently denied that he misled the public and maintains that the invasion was necessary.