London: Tony Blair`s admission that Britain
would have backed the Iraq war even if he knew it did not have
weapons of mass destruction sparked outrage on Sunday and calls
for his prosecution for war crimes.
The former British prime minister, who backed the US-led
invasion in 2003, told the BBC he would "still have thought it
right to remove" Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein because of the
threat he posed to the region.
Lawyers representing the deposed Iraqi leadership said
they would seek to prosecute Blair following his remarks,
while one newspaper commentator said it was a "game-changing
admission" for the ongoing official inquiry into the war.
Former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix added: "The war was
sold on the WMD, and now you feel, or hear that it was only a
question of deployment of arguments, as he said, it sounds a
bit like a fig leaf that was held up."
Blair is due to give evidence to the inquiry into the
war, led by former civil servant John Chilcot, early next
year, and the commentator in the Sunday Telegraph said the
investigation`s focus must now change.
"Mr Blair`s game-changing admission gives them a licence
to be tougher and more prosecutorial," he wrote, a call echoed
by campaigners at Stop the War Coalition, who urged Chilcot`s
inquiry to recommend legal action against Blair.