By Caroline Mortimer – The Inependent
Chilcot report: International Criminal Court says it will not investigate Tony Blair – but might prosecute soldiers
Court says decision to invade is outside its remit but will use report to look at evidence of soldiers’ human rights abuses .
Tony Blair will not be put on trial for war crimes but British soldiers could be, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court have said.
Ahead of the long-awaited publication of the Chilcot report on Wednesday, lawyers at the court have ruled out prosecuting the former prime minister for war crimes because it says the decision to go to war is outside its remit.
Instead the ICC says lawyers will comb through the 2.6 million word document for evidence of war crimes committed by British troops during the war.
The decision has outraged the families of the 179 British soldiers who were killed during the eight year conflict. They blame Mr Blair for dragging the UK into the war under false pretences.
In a statement to the Sunday Telegraph, the ICC said it had begun a “preliminary examination” of claims of abuse by British soldiers from human rights lawyers on behalf of Iraqi victims.
A spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC in The Hague said: “We will take note of the Chilcot report when released in the context of its ongoing preliminary examination work concerning Iraq/UK.
“A preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process aimed at determining whether reasonable basis exist to open an investigation.
“As already indicated by the Office in 2006, the ‘decision by the UK to go to war in Iraq falls outside the Court’s jurisdiction’.” (Continued at the Idependent)
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