A documentary filmmaker interrupted today's (Monday) session of the Leveson hearing into British journalistic ethics as former Prime Minister Tony Blair was testifying. The filmmaker, David Lawley Wakelin, shouted, "This man is a war criminal" before being apprehended by security staff and removed from the hearing room. He had entered it through a door reserved for Leveson, and an immediate investigation was ordered to determine how the security breach occurred. In 2010, Wakelin had traveled to Iraq to make a film in which he asked ordinary citizens there how they felt about the Iraq invasion. Unsurprisingly many who appeared on camera agreed with his view that Blair and former U.S. President George W. Bush should be tried as war criminals and that the U.S. and the U.K. had occupied their country in order to "steal" Iraqi oil. In his testimony, Blair conceded that he had got too close to News International, the British newspaper group owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, but he insisted that the pressure that resulted from that relationship was more political rather than commercial. "We were dealing with very powerful people who had a big impact on the political system," Blair said. "The big impact was hugely intensified and multiplied by the fact that if they were against you they were absolutely out, all out, against you, and that's the issue in my view."

28/05/2012