Attorney General To Stop Tony Blair's Prosecution

The Attorney General is seeking to block a private prosecution against Tony Blair over the Iraq war, a report has said.

According to The Guardian, Jeremy Wright QC has formally asked to join hearings to oppose such a move against the former prime minister.

A spokeswoman said Mr Wright 'is seeking to intervene in this case because it raises issues about the scope of criminal law'.

The newspaper reported that the planned move by the Attorney General follows a ruling that Mr Blair had immunity from the attempt to bring a criminal charge against him on the issue, and that pursuing a prosecution could "involve details being disclosed under the Official Secrets Act".

Jeremy Wright QC is seeking to intervene in what's thought to be an attempt to privately prosecute Tony Blair over the Iraq War.
Jeremy Wright QC is seeking to intervene in what's thought to be an attempt to privately prosecute Tony Blair over the Iraq War.

The Attorney General's spokeswoman added:

"It is not unusual for the Attorney General to intervene in these sort of cases in order to represent the public interest."

The private prosecution is based on the findings of the Chilcot report, which concluded that the UK government chose to carry out the invasion in Iraq "before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted".

It seeks the conviction of Mr Blair, then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, and ex-Attorney General Lord Goldsmith for the crime of "aggression".

The Attorney General claims the case is hopeless because the crime of aggression does not exist in English law, even though it does exist in international law.

However, The Guardian quoted a 2003 memo from Lord Goldsmith stating: "Aggression is a crime under customary international law which automatically forms part of domestic law."