|Date: 07/09/2012 Time: 07:42:00 PM
A parliamentary proposal to prosecute former
British Prime Minister Tony Blair for "waging aggressive war against Iraq" has
been backed by Scottish nationalists.
Independent Member of the Scottish parliament Margo MacDonald lodged a
motion at the Parliament seeking "a simple amendment making illegal the waging
of aggressive war with the intention of regime change so that former PM Tony
Blair could be brought to trial in Scotland."
It gained early support from a number of MPS from the ruling Scottish
National Party (SNP) backbenchers, it was announced.
Miss MacDonald, a former SNP deputy leader, said Scotland has a unique
opportunity to incorporate international criminal law into Scots law which is
Her husband Jim Sillars, another former SNP deputy leader, has called on
"Alex Salmond's government or a bold backbencher" to "introduce retrospective
legislation to indict the former prime minister on war crimes."
Writing in The Scotsman newspaper today, he suggested an amendment to the
International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 or a short Bill to import the
ICC's definition of "aggression" into Scots law.
"We have to ask if it can ever be right that a leader who, through
conspiracy with another power and who paved the way to aggressive war through
lies, distortions and manipulation of a parliament and people, should go
unpunished while the victims of that war are either lying destroyed in their
many thousands, or are living with the terrible consequences of it ?" he said.
"Blair knew aggressive war was a crime. He believed he was safe, there
being no legal system that could touch him. There is one now, ours."
Commenting on the motion, Salmond said: "I fully understand the sentiment
because I think that Tony Blair misled this country into an illegal war, and
the consequences of that we are going to feel for generations to come.
"I led an attempt to impeach the prime minister on this very subject.
"In terms of the interpretation of Scots law, that's a matter for law
Miss MacDonald's motion comes a week after Archbishop Desmond Tutu called
for Blair and former US president George Bush to be taken to the International
Court of Justice in The Hague for their role in the invasion and occupation of
The Nobel peace prize winner accused them of lying about weapons of mass
destruction and that the invasion has left the world more destabilized and
more divided "than any other conflict in history."
Different standards appear to be set for prosecuting African leaders than
Western ones, he said, and that the death toll during and after the Iraq war
is sufficient on its own for Blair and Bush to be prosecuted.
Archbishop Tutu, a long time critic of the Iraq war, pulled out of a South
African conference on leadership last month because Blair was attending.