Tony Blair Can’t Be Prosecuted For Iraq War, British High Court Rules

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The British High Court blocked a former Iraqi general’s attempt Monday to bring a private prosecution against former Prime Minister Tony Blair for the Iraq War.

General Abdul Wahed Shannan Al Rabbat, a former chief of staff of the Iraqi army, accused Blair of committing the “crime of aggression” by invading Iraq in 2003. The court ruling said there is “no prospect” of the case proceeding since no such crime exists.

“Because of a decision by the House of Lords binding in this court, there is no crime of aggression under domestic U.K. law,” justices said in a written judgement, adding that there is no prospect of the Supreme Court reversing the decision.

The House of Lords made a similar ruling in 2006 and a magistrate court turned down the general’s request for legal action in 2016. Michael Mansfield, Al Rabbat’s legal representative in the United Kingdom, argues a 12-volume report released last July justified the prosecution of Blair.

Mansfield claims the report clearly states that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein did not pose a threat to the interests of the U.K. since intelligence concerning weapons of mass destruction had been presented with “unwarranted certainty.”

Al Rabbat also wanted to prosecute two of Blair’s top ministers at the time, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Attorney General Lord Goldsmith.

Al Rabbat currently resides in Oman. He doesn’t possess a passport and can therefore not travel to the U.K.

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