Crown Office must justify decision not to prosecute Blair," says MSP

Press Release from Bill Wilson MSP

Dr Bill Wilson MSP (West of Scotland, SNP) has expressed frustration at the Crown Office's response to his latest letter to them. The letter suggested that Tony Blair could be prosecuted in Scotland on the basis that the invasion of Iraq could be seen as a crime of aggression under Scots law.

Dr Wilson said, “Frank Mulholland QC replied that after 'careful analysis. the Crown Office has concluded that 'that the crime of aggression does not currently form part of Scots law' and 'that the declaratory power of the High Court could not be used to make it part of Scots law'. However, a rule of customary international law is a rule of Scots law, so I find his response unsatisfactory, and I have asked for clarification.

"People are still dying in Iraq due to the instability the invasion triggered, and a credible estimate by Opinion Research Business suggested that by 2007 there had been of the order of a million deaths in Iraq due to it. I was therefore sickened by David Miliband’s reported remarks which can be summarised as, 'You've punished us enough about Iraq'. The insensitivity and lack of contrition beggar belief – he appears to have learnt nothing.

"While the dead can never be brought back, it is important that lessons be learnt and similar acts of monstrous folly be prevented. Deterrence is part of this. Therefore it is important that those behind the ongoing horror in Iraq should answer for their actions in a court of law.

"A million deaths cannot be swept aside by people of conscience, and I look forward to the Crown Office revising its opinion or providing me with a detailed legal justification for it.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Text of Dr Wilson’s letter to the Crown Office
    12 May 2010
    Mr Frank Mulholland QC
    Solicitor General
    Crown Office
    25 Chambers Street
    Edinburgh EH1 1LA
    Dear Mr Mulholland
    The potential detention and prosecution of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair
    Thank you for your letter of 5 May in response to my queries of 15 April. Given the importance of the issue, you will not be surprised to learn that I would be grateful if could provide me with the details of your “careful analysis”, as a result of which you “concluded that the crime of aggression does not currently form part of Scots law and that the declaratory power of the High Court could not be used to make it part of Scots law”. You have not provided me with any argument supporting your conclusions.
    Thank you in advance for your continued help.
    Aefauldlie
    Dr Bill Wilson
    Member for the West of Scotland (SNP)
  2. Related previous releases
    "Crime of aggression" may constitute legal basis for prosecution of Blair over Iraq

    Letter to Lord Advocate calls for arrest of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair