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David Lawley Wakelin: Blair Protester At Leveson Stands By Calling Former PM A 'War Criminal'

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DAVID LAWLEY WAKELIN
Lawley Wakelin: 'The Man Is A War Criminal' | PA

“This man is a war criminal,” he shouted, having appeared ghost-like from the rear chamber at the Royal Courts during Tony Blair's testimony.

The interruption, possibly the most memorable aspect of the former PM's appearance at the Leveson Inquiry, took everyone by surprise – Blair, Leveson… even the usually unflappable Robert Jay QC.

The protester was David Lawley Wakelin, a documentary filmmaker, whose latest work, The Alternative Iraq Enquiry, holds Blair complicit along with George W Bush in waging war for profit.

Before being bundled out of the room by security, Wakelin’s one-man protest struck a similar tone:

"This man should be arrested for war crimes," he shouted. "JPMorgan paid him off for the Iraq War... three months after he invaded Iraq he held up the Iraq bank for £20bn. He was then paid $6m a year by JPMorgan and still is... the man is a war criminal."

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This is not the first public protest made by the 49-year-old, having appeared on BBC's Question Time, proclaiming from his seat in the audience: "This country is led by liars who are prepared to kill in the name of oil."

Yet his recent protest gained far more media attention, so much so that Lord Justice Leveson ordered an immediate investigation into how "the intruder" had gained access.

“I was shocked by how easy it was to get in,” Wakelin tells the Huffington Post UK. “To be honest, I was absolutely shitting myself.”

To gain access to the court room, Wakelin walked through the metal detectors at the front of the building. After failing to get through the main entrance into the Inquiry (“I had no press accreditation”), he simply walked down two floors, along a corridor and up through some back stairs. “After that I just walked straight in,” he says. “There was no one in the back corridor at all.”

“I didn’t know what was going to happen," he adds. "I knew the world’s media was looking at me and I was about to face the former prime minister and call him a war criminal. I was completely nerve-racked.”

Wakelin chastises himself for shouting. “I wanted to stand and deliver my message calmly,” he says. “I knew I had to focus on one thing so I opted for the JPMorgan thing to get the information out there.”

The JPMorgan connection to which Wakelin refers is a theory that the bank paid money to Bush’s election ticket in 2000. Following the invasion, JPMorgan was one of the lenders used to prop up the Iraqi bank and following Blair’s time as prime minister, he was paid a large annual retainer by the bank.

As Wakelin says: “These separate events were all reported in the New York Times and the BBC.”

“Now you can draw coincidences if you like, but when you add it to all the other circumstantial evidence it smacks of corruption,” he argues.

wakelin

Wakelin: “I was shocked by how easy it was to get in"

Following the interruption, Blair, who sat listening to the accusations, gave a public refutation of the charges.

The former PM told the hearing: "What he said about Iraq and JP Morgan is completely untrue. I've never had a discussion with them [JPMorgan] about that."

“I thought it was incredible,” says Wakelin.

He said: “I’ve never talked to JPMorgan about that.”

"Well, I didn’t say that… but Blair felt compelled to throw it in. It’s very interesting.”

The TV producer, who has worked on various UK programmes, including Time Team, maintains it was an effective protest.

“I brought the Iraq War back onto the front pages on a day it wasn’t supposed to be there. My protest was on the front page of newspapers around the world.”

However he is less sanguine about whether Blair will ever be tried as a war criminal.

Right now he cannot step into Malaysia without being arrested… and other countries have problems with him going there – so the net is closing, but it’s difficult - you’re taking on the British establishment, the American government and JPMorgan. It’s an enormous thing to do but we must keep going.”

After the incident, Wakelin was arrested but released an hour later without charge.

Watch the video of Blair being interrupted at Leveson:

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