Thursday, June 14, 2007

Blair could face Trial for War Crimes

LONDON, June 12--TONY BLAIR could face prosecution for war crimes in Iraq following a legal bid launched yesterday.

Former SNP MP Jim Sillars has handed a 10,000-word dossier to Lord Advocate Eilish Angiolini urging her to charge the PM under Scots law.

He claims Blair should be held to account for conspiring to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime and for starting the war in Iraq.

Both are illegal under international law. An attempt to have Blair hauled before a criminal court in England failed after lawyers said it wasn't the place to deal with international law.

But Sillars claims Scottish courts have the power to try Blair for war crimes if they believe an established offence, such as murder, has been committed in the process.

Sillars said: "There can be no prosecution at the international criminal court because it doesn't have jurisdiction."

"There is no chance of a special court being established by the United Nations because Britain and the United States have the veto at the Security Council. There is no chance of a prosecution in England and Wales."

"But of course Scots law is an entirely different entity, an entirely different jurisdiction with different rules, procedures and instruments available to it."

Sillars said he had been told by legal experts that the Prime Minister has a case to answer.

And he warned: "The Lord Advocate would have to give a very good explanation why, with the evidence presented, she didn't instigate an investigation -- because we have jurisdiction."

Sillars spent six months putting together his complaint, which was lodged last Friday.

In a letter to the Lord Advocate, he said: "I am requesting you to investigate this complaint and prosecute in a Scottish court."

"Although I have a political past, this complaint is based on legal principles and case law, and I shall be obliged if you will examine it in that light and in that light alone."

Sillars, who was assistant secretary general with the Arab/British Chamber of Commerce for 14 years, said Britain and the US are constantly harangued as hypocrites throughout the Arab world.

He explained: "We preach the rule of law. We preach accountability inherent in democracy."

"But when it comes to applying international law, we seem to find it politically inconvenient to pursue the law as it should be pursued."

"The war on terror won't be won by bombs, bullets, aeroplanes and rockets - it will be won by winning the argument at an intellectual, moral level."

Sillars' complaint was launched at the same time as the latest move by the Tories at Westminster to get a new inquiry in the Iraq war -- but they will not join forces as Sillars is seeking a criminal conviction.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "We confirm receipt of correspondence from Jim Sillars. A response will be issued in due course."

Alalam News, Iran

Mr Blair extradited? Not as crazy as it sounds

Read it here

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