Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Sending Blair to Prison - by John Laughland: "Following the decision not to prosecute the GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun, the suspicion is that the government will do anything to keep secret the advice submitted to it by the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, on the legality of the Iraq war. There is a very simple reason why the government would want to do this. If it turns out that the Iraq war was illegal, then Tony Blair could go to prison.

"In 2000, the United Kingdom ratified the Rome treaty which created the International Criminal Court. In the run-up to the war, therefore, the government was well aware that an illegal war could spark a prosecution against senior ministers. This is why so much emphasis was placed on weapons of mass destruction: without them, the war had no basis in law at all.

"With the failure to find any weapons, Tony Blair's chickens may now be coming home to roost. His government was one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the International Criminal Court: he might be one of the first world leaders to be indicted by it. For a group of international lawyers, most of them based in Britain, have written to the Prosecutor of the new Court, asking him to look into allegations that the British government committed war crimes during the invasion of Iraq... [The Americans] recognised that the ICC could indict their own soldiers and leaders, and so they refused to ratify the ICC treaty. Thus there is no question of President Bush being dragged into the international dock."

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