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Saddam lawyer seeking consent to prosecute former UK PM Blair for war crimes

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein's former lawyer on Saturday asked the British attorney general for consent to prosecute former prime minister Tony Blair [official profile; JURIST news archive] for violations of the Geneva Conventions [materials]. Giovanni di Stefano, who represents former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz [JURIST news archive], sent a letter [text, DOC] asking for consent to prosecute Blair after Blair said in a BBC interview aired Sunday that he would have invaded Iraq [BBC report] even if he knew there were no weapons of mass destruction. According to the letter:

In summary the allegation against ANTONY CHARLES LYNTON BLAIR involves a violation of offences within the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 which without doubt and by his own admission can only but be deemed "not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly."

The attorney general's office has not yet commented [AFP report] on the request.

Sir John Chilcot [Guardian profile] is chairing the Iraq Inquiry [official website; BBC backgrounder], which began [JURIST report] investigations in November to determine the legality of the Iraq War. Last month, a letter leaked to the Iraq Inquiry indicated that former UK attorney general Peter Goldsmith [BBC profile] warned [JURIST report] Blair that the planned invasion of Iraq could be illegal. Earlier in November, documents implicating improper and possibly illegal conduct in relation to the war were leaked [JURIST report] to the British press. In October, a UK High Court criticized [JURIST report] the Ministry of Defence for its failure to properly set up an independent inquiry into claims that war crimes had been committed by British soldiers following the so-called "Battle of Danny Boy" [BBC backgrounder] in southern Iraq.

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