News / Europe

Britain's Iraq War Inquiry Resumes

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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More