International lawyers invited to UK Iraq inquiry

Tony Blair, prime minister at the time, sent 45,000 troops to Iraq occupation, a decision that deeply divided his Labour party.

International lawyers invited to UK Iraq inquiry

Britain's public inquiry into the Iraq war has invited international lawyers to comment on the government's inclusion of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, its chairman said on Tuesday.

Tony Blair, prime minister at the time, sent 45,000 troops to Iraq occupation, a decision that deeply divided his Labour party.

Blair, who testified before the inquiry in January, defied mass protests to join the invasion despite the lack of a second U.N. resolution to justify the use of force.

The inquiry, chaired by former civil servant John Chilcot, was set up last year by Blair's successor Gordon Brown with the task of learning "lessons" from the conflict.

"The inquiry has issued an open invitation to international lawyers to comment on the grounds relied on by the British government in undertaking military action in Iraq," Chilcot said in a statement.

His five-person panel resumed public hearings on Tuesday after a break to cover the period of last month's election when Labour lost power to a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

Chilcot said on Tuesday that his panel had held a private meeting with U.S. General David Petraeus during his visit to Britain earlier this month.

Former U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix is expected to appear before the inquiry at some point over the next month. Chilcot intends to complete his report around the turn of the year.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Haziran 2010, 16:20

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