[R-G] Dutch inquiry into support for Iraq invasion
fentona at shaw.ca
Tue Feb 3 13:50:14 MST 2009
Dutch inquiry into support for Iraq invasion
The Associated Press
Monday, February 2, 2009; 10:42 AM
THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The Dutch prime minister on Monday ordered
an independent inquiry into his government's decision to support the
U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 _ even though that support was verbal
The decision is a dramatic U-turn for Jan Peter Balkenende's
government, which long refused to conduct any kind of investigation.
But momentum for an investigation has grown in recent weeks after
evidence emerged that government lawyers believed the invasion might
be illegal under international law _ a potential embarrassment for a
country that houses many of the top international courts.
Balkenende's government did not send any troops to participate in the
invasion. But it announced it supported the U.S.-led military campaign
that toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
"Parliament and the Cabinet made a decision based on clear and honest
consideration," in 2003, Balkenende said. "So there is nothing to hide."
Balkenende installed a former head of the Dutch Supreme Court to lead
the inquiry and pledged it would be given access to all documents and
would have the power to question people.
The board of inquiry is due to publish its findings by Nov. 1.
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