Send Blair to court over Iraq war, says mother of Wythenshawe war hero

downloadThe mother of a Wythenshawe soldier who was killed in the Iraq war has called for former prime minister, Tony Blair to be “sent to court” following publication of the long awaited Chilcot Report.

The report, published today, is the result of a seven year inquiry by John Chilcot  which looked at why the UK went to war with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein,the background to the decision to go to war and whether British troops were properly equipped.

British troops spent six years in Iraq from 2003 to 2009 during which time 179 soldiers were killed with thousands of Iraqi deaths and casualties.

The legality of the war and the basis upon which the government sent troops to the conflict has been the source of fierce controversy. There has has also been damning criticism of the the standard of equipment supplied to soldiers fighting in the conflict

Private Lee Ellis, from Wythenshawe, was killed by a roadside bomb in 2006, aged 23, while in a Snatch Land Rover, dubbed “mobile coffins” by soldiers.

Pte Ellis’ family was among several who were given early sight of the 12 volume 2.6 million word report at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London today.

His mother, Ronnie Bariek, from Wythenshawe, said she broke down in tears when she read the report.

Pte Ellis who was killed by a roadside bomb along with Cpt Richard Holmes, became the first hero to have his name added to a war memorial in Manchester since World War Two.

Ms Bariek said the report found that the vehicle her son was travelling in when it was destroyed by a home made bomb was “not fit for purpose”.

She told the press: “We went in thinking it was going to be a whitewash, but I actually cried.”

Asked what she wanted to happen next she said: “I would like to see Tony Blair sent to court.”

Snatch Landrovers were criticised for offering insufficient protection to British troops from roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some soldiers said they had to buy their own boots because the ones supplied by the Ministry of Defence weren’t good enough.

A report in 2003 also found that nuclear, chemical and biological weapon protection suits and desert clothing didn’t fit properly ameant some soldiers had to wear their normal green and black camouflage throughout the war.



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