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Reg Keys hits out as Tony Blair set to avoid Iraq trial after Chilcot Report

Father of Tom Keys speaks of his anger that former PM will not be prosecuted

RegKeys


The father of a Solihull soldier killed during the Iraq war has hit out at claims that Tony Blair will not be prosecuted for his part in the conflict.

Reg Keys, whose son Tom died in 2003 aged 20, is among the many British families who said it was “disgusting” that the former Prime Minister will not be put on trial for war crimes.

The long-awaited report by the Chilcot Inquiry is due to be published on Wednesday after it was set up in 2009 to investigate the UK’s role in the Iraq War which ran from 2003 and ended officially in 2011 and killed around 179 British soldiers.

The report will have 2.6 million words and is expected to strongly criticise Blair for his role in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

But the inquiry will not offer a view on the legality of the war.

Ahead of its publication, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have ruled out putting Mr Blair on trial for war crimes.

In an official statement, the ICC said its prosecutors would examine the report for evidence of war crimes committed by British troops, but not the Prime Minister.

The decision has angered families of soldiers killed who blame Blair for taking the nation to a war that later proved to be based on faulty intelligence.

Reg Keys slammed the ICC’s stance on not prosecuting Mr Blair.

Tom Keys was a Royal Military Police officer, known as “Red Caps”, and six of them were killed by Iraqi mob in June 2003.

After his death, his dad, a former ambulance paramedic, fought for justice and is a founder member of the campaign group, Military Families Against the War.

Mr Keys also stood against Mr Blair in his Sedgefield constituency in the 2005 General Election.

Ahead of the Chilcot report, he spoke of his anger about the ICC decision.

“The ICC should be using the Chilcot report as a basis for a legal action against Tony Blair, not as ammunition against British soldiers for alleged abuse,” he said.

His feelings were echoed by another family who lost a son to the conflict.

Roger Bacon, whose son Matt died, said: “It is outrageous. It is double standards. These soldiers have gone out to do their best for us and here they are being hounded and yet the guy who took them there is not being looked at. That is completely wrong and disgusting,”

The ICC has defended its position, saying that the decision to launch the war was outside the court’s jurisdiction, meaning that Blair will not be put on trial.

Source: Birmingham Mail

Tags: iraq

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