Blair faces war crimes allegation
JUST as Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, thought his problems could not get any worse, it was revealed yesterday that a group of Greek lawyers are planning to indict a string of senior government ministers for war crimes.
The lawyers, from the Athens Bar Council, are filing a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court (ICC), in The Hague, claiming they have "strong evidence" Mr Blair breached international law by attacking Iraq.
The lawsuit also accuses Mr Blair of more than 20 war crimes, including the bombing of residential areas in Iraq, killing innocent civilians and depriving the population of drinking water. Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, and Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, are also named in the writ.
According to the lawyers, the war contravened international treaties such as the Charter of the United Nations, the Geneva Conventions and the ICC’s statue.
The ICC rose to international attention for its prosecution of war crimes committed during the war in Yugoslavia. A long-running trial against the former Serb leader, Slobodan Milosevic, for his involvement in alleged genocide in Bosnia is still in progress.
The government is adamant it acted in accordance with international law up to and including the invasion of Iraq. Others have pointed out that the ICC has already rejected more than 40 cases concerning the war.
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