Legality of Iraq War Not Subject of Chilcot Inquiry - Former UK Official

Robin Butler who chaired the 2004 Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction, said that the legality or illegality of the war in Iraq wasn't the question that Chilcot inquiry.

John Chilcot, center, the chairman of the Iraq Inquiry, sits with committee members - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The issue of whether the war in Iraq was legal or not lies beyond the Chilcot inquiry on what led the United Kingdom into the conflict, Robin Butler who chaired the 2004 Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction, said Monday.

Sir John Chilcot’s 12-volume report into the United Kingdom’s part in the Iraq war is expected to be published on Wednesday, seven years after it was initiated and following repeated delays in publication.

"[The legality or illegality of the war in Iraq] wasn't the question that Chilcot was asked to deal with. What he was asked to deal with was what happened, not only in the lead-up to the war but during the war and after the war, and what lessons can be learned from it, so the legal issue wasn't actually put to him and of course his review team wasn't equipped properly to deal with that legal issue," Butler told BBC Radio 4's Today program.

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According to Butler, then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was attempting to "persuade the United Nations and the world that there was a proper legal basis for taking military action against Iraq."

The United Kingdom was part of a US-led coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003, without a UN mandate, after accusing former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein of possessing weapons of mass destruction. However, such weapons were never found in Iraq.

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