Blair to reappear at public hearing on Iraq war

08:51, December 09, 2010      

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is expected to reappear at a public hearing on the Iraq war in late January 2011, local media reported on Wednesday.

It will be the second time for Blair to give evidence to the inquiry panel. During the last hearing on Jan. 29, the former prime minister defended his decision to invade Iraq in March 2003, saying that the Iraqi regime posed a danger to international security and he had no regrets about it.

The inquiry panel said it wanted "more detail" in some key areas and was concerned about gaps and possible inconsistencies in his evidence.

John Chilcot, chairman of the inquiry commission said, "As we draft our report it is clear that there are some areas where we need further detail... I am committed to taking the majority of this evidence in public."

Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Cabinet Secretary Gus O 'Donnell were also among the people recalled to the new hearing.

The public hearing opened on Nov. 24, 2009 with Chilcot promising a "fair and frank" investigation, which will cover the entire eight-year period from the build-up to the war to the withdrawal of British troops.

The inquiry panel will not apportion blame or establish criminal or civil liability -- only offer reprimands and recommendations in the hope that mistakes will not be repeated in the future.

The panel had planned to publish its conclusions at "the turn of the year". They are now unlikely to be published before the spring.

Source: Xinhua


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