UK’s Iraq war crimes probe dismisses thousands of complaints

Thousands of allegations linking British soldiers to Iraq war crimes are dropped, with one exception, investigator says.

British combat troops fought alongside other coalition forces after the 2003 US invasion [File: Wisam Ahmed/Reuters]
British combat troops fought alongside other coalition forces after the 2003 US invasion [File: Wisam Ahmed/Reuters]

All but one of the thousands of complaints linking British soldiers to Iraq war crimes have been dropped, according to an independent investigator looking into the allegations in the United Kingdom.

Andrew Cayley, director of the Service Prosecuting Authority, told BBC radio on Tuesday that it was “quite possible” that none of the original allegations would lead to a prosecution.

Cayley did not provide details of the allegation in the remaining case.

British combat troops fought alongside US and other coalition forces in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent war that lasted eight years.

Allegations

Former lawyer Phil Shiner and a team in Germany’s capital Berlin drew on the accounts of more than 400 Iraqis who allegedly witnessed or experienced crimes ranging from rape and torture to mock executions and other atrocities between 2003 and 2009.

A UK tribunal struck off Shiner after finding him guilty of misconduct and dishonesty in connection with the allegations in 2017.

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Cayley told the BBC that it was likely that no action would be taken in a separate International Criminal Court probe.

“My sense is these matters are coming to a conclusion,” he said.

A lawyer representing some of the soldiers accused by Shiner called for a public apology over the “vile war crime slurs”.

“At long last, this witch-hunt is coming to an end,” lawyer Hilary Meredith said.

The UK defence ministry said in 2012 that it had paid about $19m to more than 200 Iraqis who had accused British troops of illegal detention and torture.

Source : News Agencies

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