British government is told to publish cabinet documents on Iraq
The British government was Tuesday ordered to release the minutes of crucial cabinet meetings in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, dpa reported.
A tribunal set up to oversee the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act said the confidential documents should be released in the "public interest."
The cabinet meetings on March 13 and March 17, 2003, led by ex-prime minister Tony Blair, are known to have considered the highly-controversial issue of whether the invasion was allowed under international law.
Ever since, there has been controversy over whether or not Blair was aware of a document raising concern about invading Iraq without a second United Nations (UN) resolution, and why that document was never circulated to the wider cabinet.
Advice from the then-Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, presented to the cabinet and published on March 17, unequivocally stated that military action against Iraq was legal.
But earlier, lengthier and more equivocal advice given to Blair on March 7 was eventually leaked in which concerns were raised about invading Iraq without a second UN resolution.
The government's cabinet office now has 28 days to decide whether to appeal to the High Court against the ruling. "We are considering our response," said a Downing Street spokesman.