Tony Blair could still face prosecution over the war in Iraq

If the court goes ahead with overturning the ruling, Blair will be fair game for criminal charges related to Iraq.
By Kara Menard | Jul 08, 2017
The United Kingdom's participation in the war in Iraq is long over, but the deeply unpopular war is causing former Prime Minister Tony Blair a new bout of headaches this week, as the Royal Court of Justice began deliberation Wednesday on whether to overturn a court ruling that had guaranteed Blair immunity from prosecution over the war. If the court goes ahead with overturning the ruling, Blair will be fair game for criminal charges related to Iraq.
General Abdul-Wahid Shannan ar-Ribat, a former Iraqi general, tried to bring legal charges against Blair last year on account of Blair's leading Great Britain into the war and thereby committing a crime of needless "aggression." Ar-Ribat cited the Chilcot Inquiry, a formal post-2003 invasion investigation that had stated unequivocally that deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had not posed any threat to the United Kingdom and that the intelligence alleging Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction had been inaccurate, and that the war was overall unnecessary. Ar-Ribat argued that the inquiry's assessments proved that Blair should be held criminally liable for involving Great Britain in the war.
"Nothing could be more emphatic than these findings," ar-Ribat said. "It was an unlawful war."
A lower British court decided in favor of Blair last year and issued an injunction barring the former prime minister from Iraq-related prosecution. The Royal Court of Justice will decide soon whether this injunction is valid.
Michael Mansfield, one of ar-Ribat's lawyers, argued that aggression has been a crime in British law ever since the Nuremberg Trials. Britain's attorney general disputes that any law against aggression exists, however, and is pressing the court to uphold the immunity ruling.


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