International statesman Desmond Tutu has refused to share a platform
with Tony Blair based on the former Prime Minister's record on the Iraq war
Scottish news: Desmond Tutu shuns Blair as war crimes bounty paid out on former PM
by Cameron Ings-Hodgson and Andy Mackie
A statement released by Archbishop Tutu’s office said that: “Ultimately, the Archbishop is of the view that Mr Blair's decision to support the United States' military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible.
“The Discovery Invest Leadership Summit has leadership as its theme. Morality and leadership are indivisible. In this context, it would be inappropriate and untenable for the Archbishop to share a platform with Mr Blair. “
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An alternative to the International Criminal Court, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, found Tony Blair and guilty, in absentia, in 2010 for crimes against humanity and genocide in the 2003 Iraq war alongside former US President George W. Bush.
The Muslim political party, Al Jama-ah plans to affect a citizen’s arrest on Blair outside the convention centre today.
War crimes bounty paid out on Tony Blair
A recent attempted arrest of Blair by activist Tom Grundy, was rewarded with a letter with a cheque attached to the value of £2,420.89 from George Monbiot of Justice For War Crimes.
He received the sum for attempting to perform a citizen’s arrest on Tony Blair in June in Hong Kong under cap. 221 of the Laws of Hong Kong, section 101(2) which allows for citizen’s arrest on suspicion of serious crimes.
George Monbiot’s arrestblair.org campaign awarded Tom Grundy bounty equal to “one quarter of the total pot at the time of application”, which is collected from public donations and currently stands at £7,262.67.
In a press release George Monbiot explained that: “The campaign was established to uphold the principle that no one is above the law. The 2003 invasion of Iraq, commissioned by George W. Bush and Tony Blair, meets the definition of a crime against peace, established by the Nuremberg Principles and described by the Nuremberg Tribunal as “the supreme international crime.”
On his website Tom Grundy stated that: “I attempted a citizen’s arrest of Tony Blair for crimes against peace as he was about to present a speech at Hong Kong University about faith. It seems particularly dubious for the ex-British Prime Minister to address the subject of religion, as he has done so much to enrage the Muslim world and thus setback religious tolerance by decades.
“As I put to Blair personally, he is answerable to the sixth 1950 Nuremberg Principle which forbids ‘wars of aggression’ and gave rise to the Rome Statute – I also stated that he defied articles 31 and 51 of the UN charter.
“Leaked Downing Street memos from 2002 reveal his determination to follow the US into Iraq despite knowing his government would be violating the two aforementioned UN articles which would permit an invasion.
“In fact, the later discredited evidence of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction was irrelevant to Blair as he admitted during the 2009 Chilcot Inquiry that he would have attacked Iraq regardless as to whether such WMDs were discovered.”
Tom’s attempted arrest was blocked by Blair’s minders, but a brief exchange between Tom and Blair could be heard in the video when after Blair had said “You've had your say” and “that's democracy for you” Tom said “I bet you’re used to this” to which Blair replied “I am actually”, Tom shouted back as he left peacefully “you should be, you’re a war criminal!”
Tom is the fourth person to have seeked to make a citizen’s arrest on Tony Blair. Grace McCann attempted to arrest him as he left the Chilcot Inquiry, David Cronin tried to detain the former prime minister as he was about to enter a hearing on Palestine in the European Parliament and Kate O’Sullivan endeavoured to arrest Blair at a book signing. The total bounty paid to people who have attempted to arrest Tony Blair now stands at around £11,000.
Tom is set to become the third person to give his award to charity. He is donating the money to The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Democracy Now!, West Sahara Resource Watch and Students for Justice in Palestine National Conference.
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