High Court rejects Tony Blair prosecution bid

Trevor Jackson
August 1, 2017

The High Court has thrown out a bid to have Tony Blair prosecuted for war crimes in Iraq.

Britain's High Court ruled on Monday that a former Iraqi general can not pursue a prosecution of Tony Blair for the invasion of Iraq.

Michael Mansfield QC, appearing for Al Rabbat, argued that the report justified the prosecution of Blair.

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.

Abdul Wahed Shannan Al Rabbat, who served as chief of staff of the Iraqi army, alleged that Blair and two of his ministers had committed the crime of aggression by invading Iraq in 2003 to overthrow President Saddam Hussein.

The general, who lives in Muscat, Oman, does not possess a passport and can not travel to the UK.

Mr Blair and Mr Straw "should be tried before a court so they could be held to account for their criminal breach of the law", the general's legal team argued.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said the High Court decision is "hugely disappointing" and means justice has been "left undone".

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The court centered on the invasion in 2003 when British forces joined the USA -led coalition to overthrow Hussein, after then US president George W Bush and Blair accused Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction. But the High Court said that while the concept exists under worldwide law, it does not exist in domestic law at present.

"It should be for Parliament, and not the courts, to create new criminal offenses".

The former army general's lawyers said in a statement on Monday that the judgment "sets a unsafe precedent in times of global insecurity" and called on parliament to enact a law making accountability clear in the future.

Blair's arguments for going to war were "based on flawed intelligence and assessments" that "were not challenged [and] should have been," the report said.

On the national and global stage the failure of the British government to give tangible commitment to the prosecution of the crime of aggression undermines the rule of law.

Prosecution before an worldwide court presented "significant practical difficulties", said the judges.

It is up to parliament to "make such conduct criminal under domestic law", reads Monday's judgement.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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