Blair FREAK SHOW - War Criminal Spectacle
January 6, 2010
Tickets for Tony Blair's appearance at Chilcot inquiry to be issued by lottery
A public lottery is to be held to allocate tickets for Tony Blair's appearance at the official inquiry into the Iraq war.
The former Prime Minister will give evidence about the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein and the six-year occupation of Iraq over just one day between January 25 and February 5.
He is likely to be questioned about his secret discussions with President George W. Bush, the use of intelligence suggesting Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and the legality of the invasion.
Opponents of the invasion have accused Mr Blair of war crimes while a number of politicians, including his predecessor, John Major, have claimed that the former Prime Minister misled MPs about the risk posed by Saddam.
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Senior Labour figures are reported to have voiced concerns that Mr Blair.s appearance at the inquiry will wreck any prospect of his helping the party at the general election.
A public ballot will allocate about 40 seats for each of the two three-hour sessions at which Mr Blair will be questioned.
A separate ballot will allocate about a third of the seats which have been set aside for families of the 179 members of the Armed Forces and of British civilians who were killed in Iraq or are still missing.
Additional places will be allocated in a overflow room at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, where the hearing will be shown on televisions.
Sir John Chilcot, chairman of the inquiry said: .There has been considerable interest from members of the public wanting to know how to get a seat for this particular hearing.
.Given the potential demand, we recognise the importance of providing people with certainty about whether or not they will be able to get into the hearings, particularly those who need to travel long distances. We believe the fairest way to do this is to allocate seats by ballot..
Ballot forms, which must be returned by January 15, can be downloaded from the inquiry.s website http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk or requested from the Public Ballot, Iraq Inquiry, 35 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BQ.