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UK High Court blocks bid to prosecute Blair for war crimes

An attempt to prosecute former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for alleged war crimes has been blocked by the UK High Court.

Blair should not face prosecution for his role in the 2003 Iraq war, the lord chief justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, and another senior judge, Mr. Justice Ouseley, ruled on Monday.

The ruling was in response to a plea made by a former Iraqi army chief of staff. General Abdul Wahed Shannan Al Rabbat wanted to bring private prosecution against Blair for his “crime of aggression” during the 2003 war on Iraq.

The judges dismissed the plea on the grounds that such a crime doesn’t exist in British law, concluding there was “no prospect” of the case succeeding. Blair took no part in the legal proceedings.

Britain’s then prime minister Tony Blair meets UK troops in Umm Qasr, Iraq, May 29, 2003. (Photo by Reuters)

The former British prime minister’s decision to join the US-led invasion of Iraq tainted his legacy of 10 years in office and still haunts him over 14 years after the war.

In March 2003, the United States and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law and under the pretext of finding Weapons of Mass Destruction; but no such weapons were ever discovered in Iraq.

More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the US-led invasion, and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

Tony Blair pictured with George W Bush in February 2001 at Camp David. (Photo by AFP)

Blair told British MPs before invading Iraq that intelligence showed former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had “active”, “growing” and “up and running” nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Weapons of mass destruction were the basis of launching the war.

In 2004, however, a US report said that Saddam Hussein had destroyed his last WMD over a decade ago and had no capacity to build new ones.

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