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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Blair challenged on two fronts to publish legal advice on Iraq war

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, March 9, IRNA -- The British government Tuesday was facing 
demands on two fronts to publish the Attorney General`s legal advice 
on last year`s controversial war against Iraq. 
In parliament, Welsh and Scottish nationalists used an opposition 
debate top force a vote on whether the full legal advice should be 
made public. 
Welsh nationalist leader in the House of Commons, Elfyn Llwyd said 
that the government was wrong to argue that the Attorney General`s 
advice was never published, saying that it was revealed on the arms- 
for-Iraq scandal in the 1990s and on two previous scandals. 
"The government is hiding behind what it calls a convention and 
therefore not disclosing the full advice," he said. "We want to know 
what instructions were given and whether counsel was, in fact, 
properly briefed on the whole subject," he told BBC radio. 
In Southampton, southern England, Greenpeace environmentalist 
group were seeking to summon Attorney General Lord Goldsmith to court 
to reveal his advice on the legality of the Iraq war during the trial 
of 14 peace activists. 
Counsel for the activists, Tim Owen said that the legal advice was 
"critical" for the case as the defendants had decided to take urgent 
action to prevent a war which was likely to cause thousands of 
deaths. 
He suggested that there were "two versions of the Attorney 
General`s advice" and that the implication of the final version was 
produced at the specific request from the Chief of Defence, who 
sought assurance that the war was legal. 
After receiving evidence from the prosecution, district judge John 
Woollard said he was retiring to consider whether the defence of 
necessity was relevant in the case of the 14 activists, charged with 
chaining themselves to tanks and trucks in February last year. 
A summary of the Attorney General`s advice was published on the 
eve of the war last March that suggested that the Iraq war was legal 
based on a combination of UN Security Council resolutions, but claims 
are that it was changed after the failure to secure a new resolution. 
HC/212 
End 



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