Brown to give evidence to inquiry into Iraq war illegitimacy on March 5

British PM Brown will give evidence to a public inquiry into the illegitimacy of the Iraq War on March 5, officials for the probe said.

Brown to give evidence to inquiry into Iraq war illegitimacy on March 5

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will give evidence to a public inquiry into the illegitimacy of the Iraq War on March 5, officials for the probe said on Monday.

Brown will be the most high profile witness at the inquiry since it questioned former Prime Minister Tony Blair last month.

The war, launched in 2003, sapped support for Blair and Labour and continues to rise public anger almost three years after Blair handed over to Brown.

Brown said last week he had supported the invasion, to which Britain sent 45,000 troops, not because of Iraq's military threat but because of its repeated failure to comply with international obligations.

A key plank in the government's argument had been that the then Iraq leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but none of which were ever found.

"The evidence that was given to us was that there were weapons and that was the finding of a number of people but for me the reason for intervention was always the breach of international obligations by the Iraqi government," Brown told Tribune magazine.

Political opponents said Brown, who was finance minister at the time of the invasion, was trying to distance himself from the stance adopted by Blair.

Brown set up the Iraq inquiry last year to learn lessons from the conflict following the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq.

A ballot is being held to allocate the seats at the hearing at a conference centre opposite Parliament in central London because of expected high demand for places.

Brown will testify between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., followed by International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander, who will give evidence between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband will appear on March 8, inquiry officials added.

Reuters

Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2010, 08:20
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