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British lawmakers renew effort to prosecute Tony Blair over his role in the Iraq War

A bipartisan group of British lawmakers, which includes former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond, might renew efforts to impeach former Prime Minister Tony Blair after an investigation into the Iraq War is published this summer.

A bipartisan group of British lawmakers, which includes former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond, might renew efforts to impeach former Prime Minister Tony Blair after an investigation into the Iraq War is published this summer. Salmond has begun to gather support for a potential prosecution, depending upon the findings of the upcoming July report.

In the UK, impeachment is a maneuver politicians can make, in which they vote to put a person on trial before the House of Lords. This procedure is hundreds of years old, but is almost unheard of in modern British politics. It has not been used since 1806.

While a number of MPs (members of Parliament) want to impeach Tony Blair in the traditional fashion, in order to hold him accountable for his actions regarding the Iraq War, Salmond has a different idea. He told the media that the most effective route to a prosecution could rest with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“If, as I believe…Chilcot finds that there was a prior commitment from Blair to [George W.] Bush at Crawford ranch in 2002, that would provide the reason for pursuing the matter further. My own view is that the best route would be to use the ICC because the prosecutor is able to initiate action on his or her own behalf on presentation of a body of evidence, which Chilcot would provide.”

A campaign to impeach the former Prime Minister was launched for the first time in 2004. It was backed by a cross-party group of MPs which included Boris Johnson, who is currently the figurehead of the EU Referendum Leave campaign. He is also a favorite to become Prime Minister.

Conservative MP Sir David Amess told The Times that Mr Salmond had contacted him asking for his support to renew the campaign for Tony Blair’s impeachment, if the findings of the Chilcot report provide evidence of his alleged misdeeds. Amess also told The Times:

“If it’s proved that Tony Blair misled everyone, I personally am determined to see justice prevail and to see him impeached.”

[The Independent] Featured image: Seton Hall University (Flickr)

 

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