00:34 GMT +319 March 2018
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    Ex-British PM Tony Blair

    Families of British Iraq War Victims Turn to Crowdfunding to Sue Tony Blair

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    The families of British soldiers killed in the Iraq War have launched a crowdfunding campaign that could result in legal action being taken against former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and other UK officials for "serious failings" associated with the British military mission in Iraq.

    The campaign, launched by Roger Bacon and Reg Keys, whose sons Mathew Bacon and Tom Keys were among the 177 British servicemen and women killed in Iraq, is aimed to provide funds for lawyers to investigate if a legal case can be established against either Blair or other British officials involved in Britain's military campaign in Iraq.

    "The long-awaited Iraq Inquiry (Chilcot) Report has confirmed that there were serious failings in the lead-up to, planning and conduct of the war, which led to so many unnecessary deaths. Our armed forces must never again be so callously sacrificed by political ambition and the irresponsibility and failings of Government and Whitehall," the online petition says.

    ​The recently released Chilcot report provided a stinging criticism of the British military preparation in the lead-up to the initial Iraq invasion in 2003, with Bacon and Keys saying "those responsible should be held to account."

    "Now it is down to us, the Families, to ensure that justice is done. Not only for the sake of our children, siblings, parents and spouses, whose lives we can never get back, but to deter our state officials from ever again abusing their positions with such tragic and far-reaching consequences."

    Funding Smashing Targets 

    The campaign has already raised more than US$100,000 (£77,000), far beyond the US$66,000 (£50,000) target, and will be used by legal firm McCue & Partners to investigate the 2.6 million-word Chilcot report and determine whether any charges can be brought upon senior UK officials.

    With the International Criminal Court (ICC) declaring the UK decision to go to Iraq as being beyond its remit, and UK state prosecutors unlikely to pursue criminal proceedings against Blair and others, Bacon and Keys say their last resort is to take legal action themselves.

    ​"It's down to us — and we hope you will help — to seek justice where there has been none. We want to fight on for the memory of our loved ones.  We want to say that we as families are not powerless — we can stand up to those who behaved so unconscionably in sending them to war for no just cause or reason."

    ​"There has been much speculation in the media that former Prime Minister Tony Blair and other state officials criticized by the Chilcot Report can and should be taken to court by the families in private civil proceedings. Many reputable legal experts commenting in the media have endorsed this view.

    "We, the Families, wish to bring such legal proceedings against any state officials who might have acted unlawfully or in excess of their powers."


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    Chilcot Inquiry, Iraq War, crowdfunding, legal case, military, British Labour Party, John Chilcot, Tony Blair, Iraq, Britain, United Kingdom
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