News / Europe

Britain's Iraq War Inquiry Resumes

TEXT SIZE - +

Britain's Iraq war inquiry began again on Tuesday after suspending its hearings for the country's general elections.  Former U.N. inspector Hans Blix is among those called to appear before the five-member panel in the coming weeks.

Britain's inquiry into the war in Iraq was put on hold for more than four months to make way for the country's general election.

During the interval, the panel traveled to France and the United States to interview key players in the Iraq invasion.  The committee also spoke with U.S. General David Petraeus during a visit he recently made to Britain.

The inquiry was set up by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to investigate Britain's role in the Iraq war.

Former U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix, who oversaw the weapons inspection in Iraq before the invasion, will appear before the inquiry in the coming weeks.

Wyn Rees, a professor in politics at Britain's Nottingham University, says Blix will make an interesting contribution to the inquiry because he was highly critical of the invasion.

"Blix is interesting because he maintained there was more work for his team to do, we went to war prematurely, there was more that he would have uncovered and he would have been able to give a more definitive statement short of actual military force as to whether Iraq was developing WMD capabilities or not," he said.

The inquiry panel has also invited international lawyers to comment on the legality of the war.  Britain's former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith has already told the committee that the invasion was legally justified because Iraq had failed to comply with U.N. resolutions.

"There are going to be other people now who are going to be asked effectively what their recommendations were, what their understanding of the legal position was," he said.  "Because that's been in many ways the most controversial issue as to whether it was right, legal to go into Iraq and to use force and to unseat Saddam Hussein and to change the regime that was in power at the time," said Rees.

Earlier this year Tony Blair, who was prime minister when the war began, and his successor Gordon Brown, were questioned by the panel.  Their Labor Party was voted out in Britain's recent election, and now a new coalition government is in power.  Rees says now that Labor is not at the helm, public interest in the Iraq inquiry may wane.

"Post the election -- no longer a Labor government in power, a new administration overseeing the Chilcott Inquiry -- I think there's going to be less interest.  And I think leading up to the report, I think maybe a slight sense of disappointment over how searching and probing the questions and the ultimate findings will be," said Rees.  "So perhaps a slight sense of disappointment at the end of the process that not as much has come out of this as some people have hoped," he added.

Chairman of the inquiry, John Chilcott, says the five-person committee intends to publish its report by the end of the year.  The current session will end on July 30th, with the option to have another round of hearings later in the year.

You May Like

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid