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Chilcot probe to question Iraq war critic
Wed, 30 Jun 2010 08:33:43 GMT
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Former UN inspector Hans Blix has been named as the most interesting contributor-to-be as a British probe into the Iraq war resumed its public hearings after a 4-months hiatus for general elections.

The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, consisting of a five-member panel, resumed work Tuesday after a nearly four-month break for Britain's general elections.

Former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix and ex-MI5 director general Baroness Manningham-Buller are among the witnesses who will appear before the inquiry in the coming weeks.

Blix, who conducted the weapons inspection in Iraq before the 2003 US-led invasion of the country, is among the most important witnesses probing the legality of the war.

Wyn Rees, a professor of politics at Britain's Nottingham University, says Blix will make an interesting contribution to the inquiry because he was highly critical of the invasion.

"Blix is interesting because he maintained there was more work for his team to do, we went to war prematurely, there was more that he would have uncovered and he would have been able to give a more definitive statement short of actual military force as to whether Iraq was developing WMD capabilities or not," he said.

Britain's ex-deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and two former heads of the army General Sir Mike Jackson and General Sir Richard Dannatt will also give evidence at the fresh round of public hearings.

The Iraq war probe will also question a string of diplomats, Whitehall officials and military officers.

Earlier this year Tony Blair, who was prime minister when the war began, and his successor Gordon Brown, were questioned by the panel. Their Labor Party was voted out in Britain's recent election, and now a new coalition government is in power.

Chairman of the inquiry, John Chilcott, says the five-person committee intends to publish its report by the end of the year.

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