UK court blocks ex-general's bid to prosecute Blair
UK court blocks ex-general's bid to prosecute Blair
Tony Blair will not be prosecuted for war crimes in Iraq, High Court rules
01 August, 2017, 22:53
Britain's High Court on Monday blocked a bid by Saddam Hussein's former chief of staff to prosecute former Prime Minister Tony Blair for invading Iraq in 2003.
General Abdul Wahed Shannan Al Rabbat had accused the former Prime Minister of committing a "crime of aggression" by ordering the 2003 invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
The UK court accepted that prosecution at the ICC is not possible at the present time, but maintained that prosecution is also not possible in England and Wales where the crime does not exist in law.
The former Iraqi soldier wanted to prosecute Blair and two other key British ministers at the time - the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, and the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith. The judges cited a 2006 Supreme Court case which had ruled that there were no provisions for a "crime of aggression" charge under English law.
Despite giving verbal commitment to the International Criminal Court's jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, the British government has failed to ratify the statutory amendments to make it a possibility, significantly undermining its pretence of support. The judges admitted that a crime of aggression law does now exist under global law, but argued that it can not be enforced retroactively.
This opinion gained further momentum following the publication of the Chilcot report which accused the United Kingdom of aggression following Blair's decision to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussain over allegations of weapons of mass destruction.
Last year, an inquiry led by Sir John Chilcot ruled the invasion had not been a "last resort" as presented to MPs and the public. Chilcot's report ruled Blair had overstated the threat posed by Hussein.
Mr Mansfield argued that the Jones case was wrongly decided and permission should be given to allow General Al Rabbat to re-argue the issue before the Supreme Court. Speaking a year ago, former Labour Prime Minister Blair apologised to the families of those killed in the 2003 Iraq War, but insisted he did what he thought was the "right thing" at the time.
Monday's decision dismissed Rabbat's application for judicial review as the court reached the decision there was "no prospect" it would succeed.
Wright intervened in the case and his legal team urged the Lord Chief Justice to block the challenge.
They said: "On the national and worldwide stage the failure of the British government to give a tangible commitment to the prosecution of the crime of aggression undermines the rule of law".
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The latest check on manufacturing on Tuesday pointed to a rise in activity in July, helped by strong growth in export orders. Among the clearest signs of a rebound has been the euro's pick-up to around $1.17, from $1.05 at the start of the year.
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