Court ‘can envisage’ Blair prosecution
By Gethin Chamberlain, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 11:20pm GMT 17/03/2007
Tony Blair faces the prospect of an International Criminal Court investigation for alleged coalition war crimes in Iraq.
The court’s chief prosecutor told The Sunday Telegraph that he would be willing to launch an inquiry and could envisage a scenario in which the Prime Minister and American President George W Bush could one day face charges at The Hague.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo urged Arab countries, particularly Iraq, to sign up to the court to enable allegations against the West to be pursued. Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations said that his country was actively considering signing up.
America has refused to accept the court’s jurisdiction and is unlikely to hand over any of its citizens to face trial. However, Britain has signed up and the Government has indicated its willingness to tackle accusations of war crimes against a number of British soldiers.
Mr Moreno-Ocampo said it was frustrating that the court was viewed in the Arab world as biased in favour of the West. Asked whether he could envisage a situation in which Mr Blair and Mr Bush found themselves in the dock answering charges of war crimes in Iraq, he replied: “Of course, that could be a possibility\u2026 whatever country joins the court can know that whoever commits a crime in their country could be prosecuted by me.”
Human rights lawyers remain sceptical about whether charges will ever be brought.
Some Muslim countries have criticised what they claim is the court’s reluctance to address offences committed by western governments.
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