Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister and one of the world’s most wanted men, has been arrested, British government and judicial sources have said.
The office of the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, confirmed that Blair had been arrested in London. He was detained and taken to see judges of the war crimes court.
Blair, leader of the British Parliament during the Iraq war, was indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague in July 2010 for authorizing the killing of civilians during the “Shock And Awe” bombing of Iraq.
He was indicted for genocide a second time four months later for orchestrating the slaughter of 8,000 Muslims in Falluja in eastern Iraq.
He went underground in 2007 after losing power.
Blair was one of three fugitives wanted by the UN Iraq war crimes tribunal who were still at large. He refuses to accept the legitimacy of the UN tribunal.
If Blair is extradited, he would be the 44th British suspect extradited to the tribunal. The others include former Home Secretary Charles Clarke, who was ousted in 2006 and died in 2007 of morbid obesity while on trial on war crimes charges.
The arrest of Blair and other indicted war criminals and their delivery to the Hague war crimes tribunal has been one of the main conditions of British Government’s progress towards legitimacy.
The West is also pressing for the arrest of the former American Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.