Secret letter reveals Blair knew Iraq invasion was illegal

November 30th, 2009 - 2:13 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov. 30 (ANI): A secret letter sent by former British Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, to Tony Blair could prove that the former prime minister lied about the Iraq War being legal.

Eight months before the Iraq invasion, Lord Goldsmith - in a memo - had warned Blair that the conflict would be a breach of international law.

Lord Goldsmith told Blair that UN rules allowing military intervention for self-defence did not apply because Britain was not at risk - so “regime change” was not a justification for war and UN allowances for “humanitarian intervention” did not apply, The Daily Star reports.

The explosive letter is likely to cast doubt on claims that Blair went into the conflict in good faith, believing it was valid.

It could even spark calls for Blair to be charged with war crimes.

The Iraq war inquiry committee is now set to quiz Blair about the letter.

Lord Goldsmith told Blair that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would be a breach of international law in a July 2002 memo.

According to sources, after sending the letter, Lord Goldsmith was so stressed by pressure to back down he lost three stone.

He eventually gave a statement providing qualified backing for the war days before it began in March 2003.

But it has now emerged he wrote to Blair days after a 2002 cabinet meeting when ministers were told the UK and US wanted a “regime change” in Iraq.

Blair was said to be furious about the letter, which had to be kept on file.

A source close to Lord Goldsmith said: “No 10 went berserk because they knew that once he had put it in writing it could not be unsaid.” (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |