Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mounting evidence of British war crimes in Iraq

By Robert Stevens, wsws.org, 17 November 2010


Further allegations of war crimes committed by British troops in Iraq emerged in the High Court in London last week.
 
According to information given by legal representatives of the Ministry of Defence, three British soldiers are being investigated over the alleged abuse of an Iraqi detainee. The three served as interrogators at a secret prison near Basra in southern Iraq, during the British occupation of the city.

The information was made public in a High Court appeal case brought by Public Interest Lawyers (PIL). PIL are asking the High Court to order a public inquiry into claims by more than 200 Iraqi civilians that they were systematically abused and mistreated in UK-controlled detention camps between March 2003 and December 2008.

The appeal is in response to the British government’s decision not to order a single public inquiry into the hundreds of cases in which Iraqi civilians have alleged abuse and mistreatment. In July, the High Court granted permission for the appeal, stating there was “an arguable case that the alleged ill-treatment was systemic, and not just at the whim of individual soldiers.”

In the hearing at London’s Law Court, Philip Havers QC, appearing for Defence Secretary Liam Fox, said the case involving the three soldiers, who worked as “interrogators” in Iraq, was currently being examined by the Director of Service Prosecutions (DSP). Havers stated that the DSP would be able to recommend that war crimes charges be brought if he thought it necessary.

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