Iraq war families to consider legal action against Blair after publication of Chilcot report


Announcement follows widespread speculation over possible legal action against former prime minister

FAMILIES OF UK SOLDIERS killed in the Iraq war will consult the findings of the Chilcot inquiry when it is finally published in two months’ time and consider whether there are grounds to sue former Prime Minister Tony  Blair.

The families, part of an action group set up to campaign for justice for 179 UK soldiers killed during the war, had previously threatened legal action against the Chilcot inquiry, headed-up by Sir John Chilcot since 2009, unless it published its findings before 2016.

The inquiry’s two and a half million word report is now scheduled to be published on July 6.

Scot Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed in Iraq in 2004, told the Herald that families had been in talks over what action might be taken after the publication of the report.

She said: “We are going to have to take legal advice to see what we could do once the report is out,”

“We can't do anything till we see the report itself.”

“If it is proved there was a lot of lying then he [Blair] should be held to account for what has happened.” Rose Gentle

The families may be considering whether to sue Blair, former ministers and military leaders for misfeance, a charge of abuse of public office, which dates back to 1703. Such a legal campaign would be for unlimited damages ranging into many millions of pounds.

Of Blair, Gentle said: “If it is proved there was a lot of lying then he should be held to account for what has happened.”

The confirmation that Iraq War families will considering suing Blair and other leading figures who launched war against Iraq in 2003 comes after high profile voices in Scottish politics have speculated about possible criminal investigations against Blair.

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond, who was a leading critic of the drive to war before invasion, has said Blair could be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague for ‘crimes of aggression’.

Around a million Iraqis are thought to have died in the war between 2003 and 2008, and around four million displaced. An unknown number have died and fled the country since the country was torn apart by civil war again beginning in 2014.

Picture courtesy of Jasn

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