MSPs mount bid for Iraq prosecutions

Scotland on Sunday reports that a group of SNP MSPs are calling for Tony Blair to stand trial in Scotland over Iraq. It comes after Blair appeared at the Iraq Inquiry.

The Scotland on Sunday newspaper has reported that a group of Scottish National Party MSPs are calling for Tony Blair to stand trial in Scotland over his decision to invade Iraq. It comes after the former Prime Minister’s appearance before the Iraq Inquiry on Friday.

In a letter sent to Scotland’s Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini QC, SNP backbench MSP, Bill Wilson calls for her to investigate whether Blair breached international law in invading Iraq. He continued:

“and, should you find the evidence against them compelling, prosecute the former UK Prime Minister, Anthony Charles Linton Blair, and others complacent in the invasion in Iraq.”

Mr Wilson used recent findings by a committee of inquiry in support of his case. This committee, chaired by a former Dutch Supreme Court, Willibrord Davids concluded that UN Resolution 1441 did not constitute a legal mandate for launching military action. The Scotland on Sunday further reports that the Lord Advocate and Scotland’s prosecuting authority, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is now examining the case.

Mr Wilson argues that the terms Lord Advocate’s Reference No.1 0f 2000 – which concluded that, “A rule of customary international law is a rule of Scots law” – gives the Scottish authorities the power to prosecute a UK national for breach of international Law.

Wilson’s call has been supported by a further seven SNP MSPs in a motion (S3M-5525) tabled in the Scottish Parliament including Jamie Hepburn, who has previously worked for Housing and Communities Minister, Alex Neil, and Aileen Campbell who has previously worked for the SNP’s Deputy Leader, Nicola Sturgeon.

Scotland on Sunday notes that the SNP have declined to comment on whether First Minister Alex Salmond, supports the calls for legal action, however they add:

“Mr Salmond strongly supports the Chilcot Inquiry, although it would have benefited from having more legal expertise among the questioners on the panel.”

Salmond had previously joined calls for the former Prime Minister to face impeachment over his policy to Iraq. The SNP have further confirmed that at the request of Sir John Chilcot, they have submitted to the Iraq Inquiry the legal evidence that provided the basis of their call for impeachment.

Last year, the Times reported that Salmond with a group of other MPs charged the taxpayer £14,100 to assist with their failed campaign to impeach Blair. As a result, following a complaint by Labour Peer and MSP, Lord Foulkes, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards confirmed that he would investigate Salmond’s conduct and allegations that he used public funds from Parliament to launch a party political campaign.

In response, Scotland on Sunday has said:

“Labour claimed their opponents were guilty of trying to make ‘infantile political capital’ out of the Iraq issue, saying they should focus their attention on jobs and the economy.”

11 Responses to “MSPs mount bid for Iraq prosecutions”

  1. Andrew Regan

    @leftfootfwd "MSPs mount bid for Iraq prose…": The Scotland on Sunday newspaper has reported that a group … //bit.ly/aFYGJT #labour

  2. Anon E Mouse

    The decision to go to war was taken by the House of Commons.

    No other jurisdiction has a veto on that decision so the war – illegal, no – undesirable, yes. People saying Blair is a war criminal need to get a life.

    These MSP’s should grow up and find something useful to do. Perhaps they could free Britain’s biggest ever terrorist mass murderer to Libya on the pretence he only has 90 days to live…

  3. Mr. Sensible

    Anon E Mouse I think we’ve found something to agree on.

    I think the opposition is based on hindsight.

    Even the Liberal Democrats’ then leader, Charles Kenedy, admitted there were issues.

    Blair made clear that it would be most ideal to get a second resolution but, that not being fourthcoming he thought the first one was enough to go on.

  4. Richard Trillo

    “Complacent”, true, but actually “complicit”. . .

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  6. Billy Blofeld

    Decisions were taken by parliament – but was the information put before parliament dodgy? Was the war lawful (the Dutch have concluded it wasn’t)? Also why Iraq?

    Only a trial(s) will close this issue once and for all.

  7. Liz McShane

    Anon – re the Libyan guy that was in the Scottish prison – you are assuming that the authorities caught the right man….. i think the jury (no pun intended) is still out….. even some of the relatives do not believe that he was behind the Lockerbie bombing (and that is not to condone it in anyway by the way….)

  8. Anon E Mouse

    Billy – Fair point but in the commons one cannot be charged for anything they say, whether it was honest or not – if they could then Brown would be under arrest for his obvious lies on the economy. And we never did find out what he thought of the man’s release…

    Liz – Whilst I agree that the guy may not have done it he was found guilty by a jury in a trial so he does the time I’m afraid. It is not for MSP’s to decide when or why he leaves prison before his sentence is served.

    What is of major concern is that we now live in a system where the Judges are having their decisions on sentencing overturned by the MP’s and that is not their job.

    The judiciary is not one of the tools of the Labour Party. Neither are the Metropolitan Police in London. For Sir Ian Blair to have the met’s police cars emblazoned with Labour Party propaganda at the last election was disgraceful…

  9. Liz McShane

    Anon – I agree with you on MSPs, re being found guilty – it wouldn’t be the first time that that there has been a miscarriage of justice and the guilty perons/s are still at large.

  10. Anon E Mouse

    Liz – Finally we agree on something! I’m going to have a couple of beers now tonight…

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    […] number of SNP MPs were reported to be launching a campaign to see Tony Blair prosecuted in Scotland over his role in Iraq. The SNP […]

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