Public Inquiry and Court-Martial of the Former CO 1 QLR and Members of the Battlegroup HQ

News from the Inquiry Baha Musa Inquiry
Re-directs to National Archives
All key documents available    
Extracts from C-M trial     
(large Zip file)
Charge-Sheet   charge-sheet


Dr Derek Keilloh not to appeal decision to strike him off    A North Yorkshire GP struck off over the death of a detainee in Iraq has said he will not appeal the decision despite a campaign by his patients. Dr Keilloh said: "It is with a heavy heart that I am not able to lodge an appeal to the findings." ............................... [BBC News, 19 January]        back to the top


Baha Mousa army doctor found guilty of dishonest conduct     Derek Keilloh has repeatedly denied any knowledge of injuries suffered by Iraqi hotel worker who died in British custody. ............................... [Guardian, 16 December]        back to the top

Baha Musa - Dr Derek Alexander KEILLOH - Fitness to Practice Hearing, 11 June to 20 July 2012 at St James's Buildings, 79 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FQ.    The Panel will inquire into the allegation that whilst Dr Keilloh was deployed as the Regimental Medical Officer at Battlegroup Main, Basra, he failed to ensure written records were made of medical examination of civilian detainees. It is further alleged that on 14 or 15 September 2003, he was informed that a civilian detainee was complaining of a heart condition. It is alleged that he failed to examine this person and failed to assess his condition. A full list of the allegations can be found ...............................[here] - 14 June 2012         back to the top

Gage's report identifies key individuals claimed to have failed in their duty    Sir William Gage's report identified a number of key individuals he claimed had either carried out violence against detainees in Basra, or failed in their duty to report what was happening. These are some of the main names identified. ...............................[Telegraph, 8 September]         back to the top

Baha Mousa inquiry: innocent father died due to Army's failings    Iraqi prisoner Baha Mousa died in British custody due to a catalogue of failures in the Army's chain of command to stop the use of banned interrogation techniques, an inquiry has concluded. The battalion's former commanding officer, Colonel Jorge Mendonça, bears "heavy responsibility" for Mr Mousa's death as senior officers should have done more to prevent it, it found. It ruled that Col Mendonca's failure to prevent his soldiers' use of "conditioning" methods - such as hooding, sleep deprivation and making prisoners stand in painful stress positions - on detainees was "very significant". ...............................[Mail, 8 September]
See also:  [Baha Mousa report], and [Chairman's Summary]         back to the top


Baha Mousa inquiry: former soldier says he is 'sorry for everything'    A former British soldier serving in Iraq when Baha Mousa, the innocent civilian, was beaten to death, has issued a public apology over the killing. Garry Reader, a private with the former 1st Battalion the Queen's Lancashire Regiment (1QLR), which was responsible for arresting and holding the Iraqi civilian, said: "I'm sorry for everything". ...............................[Telegraph, 8 September]         back to the top

British military will be cleared of torturing Iraqi hotel worker to death in new report    The official findings of the three-year inquiry into the brutal death of Iraqi civilian Baha Mousa and the abuse of nine other Iraqi men detained with him are expected to be released on September 8. ...............................[Mail, 28 August]
See also:  [Baha Mousa report to condemn senior army officers]         back to the top


British soldiers accused of killing Iraqi prisoner and mistreating others could still face charges    Former and serving British soldiers are awaiting a landmark report into the brutal death of an Iraqi civilian which could lead to them facing criminal charges. Father-of-two Baha Mousa, 26, sustained 93 injuries while in the custody of 1st Battalion the Queen's Lancashire Regiment in Basra, southern Iraq, in 2003. . ............................... [Mail, 30 December]        back to the top

Submissions to the Baha Musa Inquiry, on behalf of the detainees    A former Army commanding officer has been accused of lying to a public inquiry into the death of an Iraqi civilian in his soldiers' custody. Colonel Jorge Mendonca said he saw nothing out of the ordinary when he checked on hotel worker Baha Mousa and his colleagues after their 2003 arrest. But Rabinder Singh QC, counsel for Mr Mousa's family, questioned his account of events in Basra, southern Iraq. He told the inquiry he must have not visited or had seen a "horrific scene". (19 July 2010). ...............................[Baha Musa Inquiry]
See also: [BBC News, 19 July 2010]
See also:  [Colonel accused of lying to inquiry]         back to the top


Ruling on legal professional privilege in respect of Attorney-General's Advice    The documents which form the Advice remain confidential and the Chairman was of the view that he could not direct that any of them be produced by the MoD. He also held that, even though the Geneva Conventions were applicable (the lex specialis) he went so far as to accept that "the ECHR and in particular Articles 2, 3 and possibly 5, are to an extent relevant to issues in the Inquiry." ...............................[Baha Mousa Public Inquiry]         back to the top

Baha Mousa inquiry: US concerned about 'milder' British methods in Iraq    Senior UK intelligence officer warned of concerns just as Iraqi civilian died in British custody. ...............................[Guardian, 30 March]         back to the top

Six Iraqis died in our custody, British officer tells Baha Musa inquiry    At least six Iraqis died while being held in British military custody during the first two months of the war in Iraq, a public inquiry has been told. Lieutenant-Colonel Nicholas Mercer, the former head of the Army's legal team in the country, also disclosed that there was a shortage of troops dedicated to looking after detainees and said that Britain treated the issue as a low priority, regarding it as an "inconvenience" rather than an obligation under international law. ...............................[Times, 17 March]         back to the top

Revealed: Shocking picture of British soldier grabbing hair of Iraqi prisoner blindfolded with gaffer tape    Holding a prisoner by a clump of hair, a bare- chested British soldier poses for the camera in an 'appalling' display of abuse in Iraq. The detainee, whose eyes have been sealed with black tape, was captured by soldiers from the same battalion accused of beating another Iraqi man to death. ...............................[Mail, 16 February]
See also: [Times, 16 February]
See also: [Telegraph, 15 February]
See also: [Guardian, 15 February]         back to the top


Chief officer 'hit Iraq detainee'    The British army commanding officer of a detention camp punched a prisoner in the head, the inquiry into the death of Iraqi Baha Mousa has been told. A soldier, identified as SO38, said he was "disgusted" to witness Lt Col Jorge Mendonca hit the detainee, verbally abuse him, and call him a "terrorist". ...............................[BBC News, 19 January]         back to the top

Inquiry will move to Module 3    The Inquiry has risen for its Christmas break and will sit again on 18 January 2010 for the start of Module 3. This module will be looking into training and the chain of command. It will hear evidence from senior ranks of the army (including Col Jorge Mendonca, who was the commanding officer of 1QLR) and others, able to give an account of what training and guidance were given and what orders were issued to those in 1 QLR involved in the detention. Questioning will follow the chain of command upwards in relation to these matters. ...............................[Baha Musa Inquiry, 30 December 2009]         back to the top

Baha Mousa inquiry hears of soldier's detainee concerns    A senior British army officer charged over the death of an Iraqi prisoner had raised fears over the treatment of detainees, it has emerged. ...............................[BBC News, 7 December]         back to the top

British army lieutenant 'threatened to set Iraqi boy on fire' and kicked and beat prisoners, claims disgraced ex-corporal    The only soldier convicted in connection with the death of Iraqi prisoner Baha Mousa claimed yesterday he saw officers abusing detainees. Disgraced former corporal Donald Payne said he saw Lieutenant Craig Rodgers punching or kicking a group of detainees and even threatening to set one on fire. Payne also accused his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Mendonca, of being 'gung-ho' and 'trigger-happy'. He said the Queen's Lancashire Regiment CO once held his pistol above a suspected insurgent's mouth and threatened to 'blow his face off'. ...............................[Daily Mail, 17 November]         back to the top

Baha Mousa inquiry hears how British officers approved of abuse of prisoners    The only soldier convicted over the death of the Iraqi civilian Baha Mousa told how officers had approved of the abuse of prisoners and in one case made a young detainee "hysterical" by pretending to set him on fire. He explained how he told Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Mendonca, his regiment's commanding officer, about the circumstances surrounding Mousa's death. He said Mendonca replied that the incident would mean the end of his career or Payne's. "The impression I gained was that he was going to try and cover his own back, if necessary at the expense of mine," Payne said. He described in a statement how on one occasion Mendonca cocked his pistol, held it above a prisoner's mouth and threatened to "blow his face off". Payne added: "It was my impression that the CO was somewhat trigger-happy. He would pull his pistol out at any opportunity. He would behave as if he were a member of the SAS." Mendonca's counsel, Tim Langdale, accused Payne of telling lies about his client. ...............................[Guardian, 17 November]         back to the top

Every member of my unit abused Iraqis, says war crimes corporal    A former soldier convicted in connection with the death of an Iraqi hotel worker has accused an officer of pretending to set a young detainee on fire and claimed that every member of his unit committed abuses against civilians during the war. ...............................[Times, 17 November]         back to the top

Soldiers 'hit and kicked' Mousa    A former British soldier has admitted for the first time that he saw two of his colleagues kicking and hitting an Iraqi prisoner shortly before he died. Garry Reader told a public inquiry how, then a private, he had tried in vain to resuscitate Baha Mousa in 2003. He said he had not told the truth previously, but did believe Cpl Donald Payne and Pte Aaron Cooper had caused Mr Mousa's death that September. Mr Reader said he had been afraid speaking out would damage his career. ...............................[BBC News, 9 November]         back to the top

Baha Mousa witness tells of abuse by British soldiers    An Iraqi detainee said today he was forced to drink the urine of British soldiers and described how his head was pushed down a toilet. The claims were made in a written statement by a witness, identified only as D005, at the public inquiry into the death in British custody of Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel receptionist, in September 2003. ...............................[Guardian, 6 October 2009]
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Army Major warned soldiers 'not to go as far as last time' on Iraqi prisoner    A British Army Major warned his soldiers not to ''go as far as you did last time'' when they arrested an Iraqi civilian who later died in their custody, a public inquiry has been told. ...............................[Telegraph, 5 October 2009]
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Mousa UK soldiers 'passed blame'    British soldiers involved in arresting an Iraqi man who later died in UK custody were told to blame a colleague for his death, an inquiry has heard. ...............................[BBC News, 30 September 2009]
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UK army 'rotten', Iraq probe told    British soldiers who abused an Iraqi detainee who died in their custody were not just "a few bad apples", a public inquiry has been told. There was "something rotten in the whole barrel", Rabinder Singh QC said. ...............................[BBC News, 21 September 2009]         back to the top

Baha Mousa told of 'rotten' British Army    The death of an Iraqi prisoner in British custody was not down to a “few bad apples” but to “something rotten in the whole barrel,” the opening of a public inquiry has heard. ...............................[Telegraph, 21 September 2009]         back to the top

Inquiry publishes first witness list    The Baha Mousa Inquiry will resume its opening statements at 10am on Monday 21 September 2009. On that day, legal teams for most of the Core Participants will deliver their Opening Addresses, each speaking for approximately 20 minutes. Every week the Inquiry will publish a list of witnesses from whom it intends to hear evidence over the next fortnight. The list is subject to change at any time depending on availability of witnesses and other timetabling matters. In accordance with the Chairman’s rulings, some witnesses have been granted anonymity and shall be referred to by ciphers. ...............................[Press notice, 10 September 2009].     back to the top


Inquiry opens into Iraqi's death    A public inquiry into the death of an Iraqi civilian in British military custody six years ago is due to open. Baha Mousa, 26, died during detention by soldiers from the former Queen's Lancashire Regiment after his arrest at a Basra hotel with nine other Iraqis. ...............................[BBC News, 13 July 2009].     back to the top


The Baha Mousa Public Inquiry    In a written statement given in Parliament on 14 May 2008 the Secretary of State for Defence announced that there would be a public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, an Iraqi civilian who died in Iraq in September 2003. He described that death as a disturbing incident: not just because a man died in the custody of British soldiers but because an investigation by the Royal Military Police and a subsequent Court Martial highlighted further important questions that needed to be answered. ...............................[News from the Inquiry].
Key Documents can be found: here     back to the top



Phil Shiner    IIn a HARDtalk interview first broadcast on 9 April 2008 Stephen Sackur talks to the human rights lawyer Phil Shiner. He says he has no trust in the British system of military justice; it does not work because there is no independent oversight. ...............................[Hard Talk, 9 April 2009].     back to the top


More immunity for Mousa witnesses    Soldiers giving evidence to an inquiry into the death of Iraqi Baha Mousa have been granted extra legal protection. A new ruling states that they will not face disciplinary action if their own evidence suggests they have lied or withheld information previously. ...............................[BBC News, 7th January].     back to the top


Judge in Baha Mousa death inquiry to question 'every witness'    The judge presiding over the public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, the Iraqi hotel receptionist killed while in the custody of British troops in Basra, made clear today that he intended to question every soldier who witnessed the incident, whether or not they were directly responsible. ...............................[Guardian, 20 November 2008].     back to the top


Mousa witnesses granted immunity    Witnesses giving evidence to an inquiry into the death of Iraqi Baha Mousa have been told they will not have it used against them in criminal proceedings. Sir William Gage, chairman of the public inquiry, said the aim of the move was to help the "fullest and frankest" account of events to emerge. Hotel receptionist Mr Mousa, 26, died in British army custody after being detained in Basra in September 2003. The inquiry into his death is due to start hearing evidence next spring. ...............................[BBC News, 15 October].     back to the top


Rights law 'makes UK forces shun arrests'    British forces are avoiding detaining suspected insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq because of fears they will be liable under the European human rights convention, a key Bush administration lawyer told the Guardian yesterday. John Bellinger, legal adviser to secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, said detention operations had been "enormously complicated" by the application of human rights protection to war zones outside Europe. ...............................[Guardian, 8 October 2008].     back to the top


Soldiers who hand prisoners to US could face legal action, MPs warned    British troops who hand over prisoners in Iraq to US military personnel could find themselves facing prosecution, according to a legal opinion compiled for parliament. The finding has led to calls for the British government to rethink its current policy and investigate how the US treats its prisoners, and whether torture is employed against them. ...............................[Guardian, 29 September 2008]     back to the top



Iraqi torture victims slam UK 'contempt'    Iraqi civilians who were tortured by British soldiers say the government is treating them with 'contempt' ahead of a potential multi-million-pound payout for the abuse they suffered. The eight Iraqis arrived in London yesterday for this week's long-awaited mediation into how much compensation the government is willing to pay to civilians who were tortured while held in British custody. The eight accused the Ministry of Defence last night of trying to block them from attending the high-profile meeting. ...............................[Guardian, 6 Jul]     back to the top



MoD to pay compensation for death of Iraqi prisoner Baha Mousa    The Ministry of Defence has admitted it breached the human rights of an Iraqi hotel worker who died in British custody, and agreed to pay compensation which could reach £1 million. ...............................[Telegraph, 28 Mar]     back to the top



The Aitken Report    An investigation into cases of deliberate abuse and unlawful killing in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. It focuses solely on those instances where members of the British Army are alleged or proven to have mistreated Iraqi civilians outside the context of immediate combat operations. It seeks to explain what happened in each case, and to describe the context in which they occurred; but its principal purpose is to detail the measures the Army has taken to ensure (as far as possible) that they are not repeated. It makes deductions based on evidence from official reports, court judgments and interviews. Because inquiries are not yet complete into all the cases with which this report is concerned, it also recommends other areas that will need to be addressed by further work. Read it on-line here.
See also: [Independent, 26 January 2008] ..............................     back to the top



UK Army In Iraq: Time To Come Clean On Civilian Torture    The analysis by REDRESS, the NGO organisation seeking reparation for torture survivors, has published its report into the behaviour of British troops in Iraq. The report examines such matters as the abuse of civilians, the background of conditioning techniques, international law and UK policy and doctrine, medical treatment and the role of medical personnel, and issues regarding legal advice and policy. This Report looks closely at the R-v-Payne and others (death of Baha Musa) court martial in particular and a number of still unresolved issues: who really was responsible for what happened; what training did the soldiers charged (and others) receive regarding permissible and impermissible conduct; how did clear gaps and confusion in army policy and doctrine arise, and who bears responsibility for that; when things went wrong, did the fault lie with politicians, or the military, or senior civil servants, or all of them; did senior legal advisors always act properly; to what extent were previously banned interrogation techniques used, how did such use come about, when or indeed was the ban effectively re-introduced, and has anyone accepted responsibility for the debacle. Link to this directly by following this link. ..............................     back to the top



MoD sued over ‘36 hours of hell’ in Basra    Iraqi prisoners held by British troops at a detention centre in Basra were forced to dance “like Michael Jackson” during 36 hours of alleged beatings and sleep-deprivation, according to a High Court writ against the Ministry of Defence. Nine Iraqi civilians were victims of a competition between several British soldiers to see who could kick the prisoners the hardest, it is also claimed. Baha Musa, one of the nine detainees, died later and was found to have 93 separate injuries. Permission for details of the writ, first served in June, to be made public was given by the High Court yesterday  [Times, 16 Nov]...............................     back to the top



Judge Advocate's Ruling at close of prosecution case    This can be found here. It is in pdf format and is 150kb in size. ..............................     back to the top



Judge Advocate's Ruling     on reporting restrictions, together with the Prosecution Opening and Defence Opening, have been removed from the website former APA web site. We are not aware of any plans by the SPA to make this information available.  [Posted: 22/x/06, amended 22/iv/10]



Torture claims go to high court    Harrowing accounts of the treatment of Iraqis by British troops in an incident in which a detainee died will be handed to the high court today as their lawyers demand aggravated and exemplary damages from the Ministry of Defence. They say 10 Iraqis seized in a Basra hotel in September 2003 were tortured. Baha Mousa, the receptionist at the al-Haitham, suffered 93 injuries and died in British custody. The lawyers claim the soldiers' actions were in breach of the Geneva convention and the Human Rights Act. ..............................[Guardian, 26 Oct]     back to the top



Court tells MoD to yield papers on Iraqi's death    The high court yesterday ordered the Ministry of Defence to disclose to lawyers key documents about the circumstances surrounding the death of Baha Mousa, an Iraqi who died in British custody in Basra four years ago. The move came after the lawyers for Mr Mousa's family and the families of 10 other Iraqis detained by British soldiers accused the MoD of "obfuscation and delay" in providing vital information. The family demanded the documents after an MoD offer for them to take part in an inquiry into incidents in Basra in 2003. The information they wanted includes the background of military training regarding treatment of detainees, and the orders given in Iraq. "It was a shameful episode for the British army and for Britain itself," Jason Coppel, counsel for the families, told Mr Justice Jackson . ..............................[Guardian, 4 Oct]
See also: [Independent, 4 Oct]     back to the top



Colonel Mendonca Writes in the Daily Mail    Just imagine that you are a British soldier returning from a tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. For the past few months, you have been putting your life on the line for your country. Every day, you have faced the risk of death from bomb and bullet. As you arrive back in Britain, you feel a mixture of relief, exhaustion and pride in your service. Yet your return seems at best to be a matter of supreme indifference to the public. There are no crowds at the airport, nor any large parades. You are expected to disappear quietly from view, so that the country can concentrate on important issues like Pete Doherty's drug rehabilitation programme or the next winner of ITV's The X Factor. ..............................[Mail, 3 Oct]     back to the top



I was hung out to dry, says British commander dragged through 'political' court martial    Colonel Jorge Mendonca has six medals, which he keeps in a drawer. He doesn't tend to look at them much. The last time he examined his Distinguished Service Order - the highest military award for command - he didn't know whether to polish it or hurl it across the room. ..............................[Daily Mail, 1 Oct]
See also: [Daily Mail, 1 Oct]     back to the top



Lawyers accuse MoD of retaining evidence on abused Iraqi detainees    Lawyers representing the families of Iraqis detained by British soldiers yesterday accused the Ministry of Defence of suppressing crucial information about the circumstances surrounding their mistreatment, including advice given to senior army officers. They have asked the high court to issue a new order requiring the MoD to disclose all relevant documents about the death of Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel receptionist who suffered 93 injuries and died while in British custody in 2003, and the abuse of 10 other Iraqi civilians. ..............................[Guardian, 22 Aug]     back to the top



Army right to prosecute soldiers, says CPS report     The decisions to prosecute British soldiers for offences involving the deaths of Iraqi civilians were justified, says an independent inspectorate's report on the Army Prosecuting Authority (APA). Senior officers had argued that the prosecutions were politically motivated and should never have been brought. But a report by the Crown Prosecution Service inspectorate says today that in two cases - not identified - the decision to prosecute had been taken after a QC advised there was sufficient evidence. Although the prosecutions failed, the APA handled the cases appropriately, it says. Access the report here. ..............................[Guardian, 29 Jun]     back to the top



Goldsmith urges 'torture' probe    Lord Goldsmith has called for an inquiry into how illegal torture techniques came to be used by British soldiers in Iraq. The Attorney General denied giving army chiefs permission to use sleep deprivation, hooding, stress positions and other techniques on prisoners. ..............................[BBC News, 26 Jun]     back to the top



Human rights law protects prisoners of UK troops abroad, rule lords in landmark case    British soldiers who imprison detainees during military campaigns abroad are bound by the Human Rights Act, which prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, the country's highest court ruled in a landmark judgment yesterday. The law lords dismissed arguments by the Ministry of Defence and by Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, that the act did not apply to UK forces detaining foreign prisoners, in particular Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel receptionist who died while in British custody in 2003. ..............................[Guardian, 14 Jun]
See also: [ Ruling raises hopes for public inquiry]
See also: [Tortured Iraqis free to sue UK for millions]
See also: [ A deliberate torture policy]
See also: [Captured Iraqi civilians protected by Human Rights Act in landmark ruling]
See also: [ UK troops must fight under Human Rights Act]     back to the top



Ruling allows full Mousa inquiry    For the relatives of the hotel receptionist Baha Mousa this important ruling by Law Lords means they can now return to court to press for a full inquiry into the manner of his death in British custody in September 2003. They will argue that the court martial of seven soldiers did not meet the requirements of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights for an adequate investigation into the death. ..............................[BBC News, 13 Jun]
See also: [Guardian, 13 Jun]
See also: [Judgment in full]     back to the top



Human Rights law applies to Mousa case    The Law Lords have ruled that UK human rights laws do apply to a civilian who died in British custody in Iraq. They upheld part of an appeal by relatives of Baha Mousa, who died while he was in British army custody in Basra in 2003. The judgement could lead to an independent public inquiry. ..............................[BBC News, 13 Jun]
See also: [Guardian, 13 Jun]
See also: [Judgment in full]     back to the top



Iraqi civilians bring abuse claims to the High Court    Dozens of Iraqi civilians who claim to have been victims of abuse committed by British soldiers are set to bring a test case in London for punitive damages against the government. The legal action, which will begin later this month in the High Court in London, follows two courts martial in which soldiers were convicted of mistreating prisoners after the invasion. In the first tranche of personal injury claims the victims were detained by the Queen's Lancashire Regiment after they raided a hotel in Basra in September 2003. ..............................[Independent, 9 Jun]     back to the top



Family of Iraqi killed in UK custody to sue MoD    The family of an Iraqi civilian who died while in British military custody in Iraq nearly four years ago is to sue the Ministry of Defence for damages, a lawyer representing them said on Wednesday. Martyn Day, a personal injury lawyer, said he had no other choice than to sue the Ministry of Defence after a court martial earlier this year cleared seven British soldiers of any involvement in the death of hotel receptionist Baha Musa. ..............................[Yahoo, 6 Jun]
See also: [Ananova, 6 Jun]
See also: [Daily Mail, 6 Jun]     back to the top



Outrage over hero Colonel 'stabbed in the back by the Army'    Defence chiefs face an angry backlash after war hero Colonel Jorge Mendonca resigned in protest at his treatment over alleged prisoner abuse by his soldiers. The Daily Mail had revealed how Col Mendonca dramatically ended his 25-year career after learning that he faced lengthy behind-the-scenes investigations – even though the charges against him were thrown out at a court martial. ..............................[Daily Mail, 2 Jun]     back to the top



The generals and politicians will not destroy us, says Colonel Mendonca's wife    Louise Mendonca has endured the appalling stress of the past two years with outward calm. She has allowed herself neither the self-indulgence of depression nor the luxury of introspection. At times of trauma and anxiety, she has simply exhausted herself with exercise. "I’d run for miles. It became a reflex action," she says. ..............................[Daily Mail, 2 Jun]     back to the top



Blair's not fit to polish this war hero's boots    Standing shoulder to shoulder with Nelson Mandela, wreathed in smiles, hands grasped in friendship, Tony Blair clearly wants to be remembered as the other great man who saved Africa. He won't be, of course. Iraq casts too great a shadow to allow his modest achievements in Africa - a continent still stained by the scandals of Zimbabwe, Congo and Darfur - to shine. Indeed, even as Blair was busy preening and posing on his £1 million farewell tour, others were paying the price for the chaos he has bequeathed in the Middle East. ..............................[Daily Mail, 2 Jun]     back to the top



Soldier snubs promotion to quit    A war hero cleared at a “show trial” over Iraqi prisoner abuse is quitting the Army even though he is set for promotion. Highly-decorated Colonel Jorge Mendonca, 43, decided to resign his commission after learning he faces an investigation into his command of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in Iraq. Col Mendonca was the highest ranking soldier in recent history to face a court martial and was cleared in February after a five-month £20million trial. ..............................[Sun, 2 Jun]     back to the top



Officers attack MoD over 'scapegoat' Mendonca    Senior military figures rallied behind Colonel Jorge Mendonca yesterday following his decision to leave the Army in disgust at the prospect of facing another military inquiry over the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Col Mendonca's former commanding officer said the Ministry of Defence's handling of his case was disgraceful and would sap morale within the service. Col Mendonca, 43, was cleared of neglect of duty after a £20 million court martial threw out the charges against him earlier this year. ..............................[Telegraph, 2 Jun]     back to the top



General Dannatt speaks after close of Cpl Payne Court Martial     Chief of the General Staff and professional head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, has made a statement today, 30 April 2007, following the end of a court martial concerning allegations of mistreatment of Iraqi civilians by British Army personnel. This can be found at this link .  [Posted: 1/vi/07]



Cleared Mendonca quits army    A British army officer cleared of abusing Iraqi civilians in custody has left the service over fears he could face a fresh investigation, his wife said today. ..............................[Guardian, 1 Jun]     back to the top



Colonel accused in abuse case resigns    The Colonel cleared of negligence in the case of the Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa, who died in his custody, has resigned from the Army following threats of further disciplinary action, it was reported last night. Colonel Jorge Mendonca, 43, was accused of neglect of duty while overseeing officers of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment after Mr Mousa died in his custody in 2003. He was said to have been beaten to death. Col Mendonca was charged two years later along with six of his officers, but the judge ordered charges against him to be dropped. Only one of the six others, Corporal Donald Payne, 35, has been convicted. ..............................[Independent, 1 Jun]
See also: [Telegraph, 1 Jun]
See also: [Times, 1 Jun]
See also: [Sun, 1 Jun]     back to the top



Lord Goldsmith refuses to publish advice to Army over use of torture    The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, is under growing pressure to disclose his advice to the Army on whether British soldiers in Iraq needed to comply with the Human Rights Act. uman rights groups and lawyers acting for Iraqi victims of abuse claim Lord Goldsmith's advice meant soldiers were told to ignore the human rights legislation when detaining civilians after the invasion in March 2003. Yesterday, The Independent reported that emails sent between senior legal advisers showed there was disquiet among military lawyers about that advice. ..............................[Independent, 1 Jun]     back to the top



Leading article: An abuse of human rights - and a blot on our integrity    The abuse of Iraqi detainees at the hands of British and American forces in Iraq has left a dark stain on the reputations of both countries in the Middle East, and in the wider world beyond. Claims once confidently advanced by Britain and the United States to be occupying the moral high ground in dealings with tyrannical regimes have been severely discredited over the last four years. It will take much longer than that to shake off the shame. The fact that the events at Abu Ghraib were more serious and more damaging to America's reputation than those at Camp Bread Basket were to Britain's is of little comfort. ..............................[Deutsche Welle, 29 May]     back to the top



Army must come clean on torture in Iraq, say MPs    An influential committee of MPs is demanding that the Ministry of Defence urgently explains what, it claims, are 'stark inconsistencies' over the army's use of interrogation techniques in Iraq. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has written to the MoD asking it to reconcile what appear to be glaring differences between the department's official line on what is permissible and evidence given at the recent court martial of seven British soldiers. ..............................[Observer, 27 May]     back to the top



Acquitted soldiers face army inquiry into prisoner abuse    Soldiers acquitted in the Iraqi prisoner-abuse trial linked to the death of Baha Musa, one of nine Iraqi detainees held by the British military in Basra in 2003, are to face an internal army investigation that could lead to dismissal. Four soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, including Colonel Jorge Mendonca, its former commanding officer, and two members of the Intelligence Corps, are to be subjected to further inquiries, with the possibility of administrative action against them, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday. ..............................[Times, 2 May]     back to the top



First British soldier to be convicted of a war crime is jailed for ill-treatment of Iraqi civilians    The first British soldier ever to be convicted of a war crime was yesterday jailed for a year and dismissed from the army. Corporal Donald Payne brutally mistreated Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa, who died of his injuries at the hands of British soldiers, and other civilians held at a detention centre in Basra. He punched and kicked the civilians when they were hooded and handcuffed and conducted what he called "the choir" striking the prisoners in sequence, their groans or shrieks making up the "music". ..............................[Guardian, 1 May]     back to the top



Britain's first war criminal jailed for one year    Britain's first war criminal has been dismissed from the army and sentenced to one year in a civilian jail. Corporal Donald Payne, 36, admitted a charge of inhuman treatment of Iraqi civilians in Basra in 2003. He was among the first soldiers in UK history to be charged with the offence, framed under the terms of the International Criminal Court Act 2001. ..............................[Telegraph, 1 May Apr]     back to the top



Britain's first war criminal jailed    Britain's first war criminal has been dismissed from the Army and sentenced to one year in a civilian jail. Corporal Donald Payne, 36, admitted a charge of inhuman treatment of Iraqi civilians in Basra in 2003. He was among the first soldiers in UK history to be charged with the offence, framed under the terms of the International Criminal Court Act 2001, and his admission resulted in him being Britain's first convicted war criminal. His sentence, announced on Monday at a military court in Bulford in Wiltshire, will also result in the loss of approximately £300,000 in future earnings and pension. ..............................[BBC News, 30 Apr]     back to the top



Diary of a squaddie: Sunburn, sore feet and three more Ali Babas tossed in the river    Private Stuart Mackenzie was a Territorial Army soldier serving with the Lancastrian and Cumbrian Volunteers in Iraq in 2003, writes Audrey Gillan. He was attached to the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, responsible for the running of a detention centre in which the Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa was held before dying from the 93 injuries he sustained there in September of that year. The private kept a diary of his time in Iraq and extracts of it were produced at the court martial of seven QLR soldiers who were acquitted in March of abusing prisoners. ..............................[Guardian, 28 Apr]     back to the top



A coverup of torture, racism and complicity in war crimes    Images of the battered, bloodied, bruised face of Baha Mousa, tortured to death while in detention with British troops under the Iraq occupation, should have shocked the nation when they appeared last week. Instead, most media outlets chose to ignore them. By comparison, when Canadian troops meted out similar treatment to a prisoner in Somalia in the 1990s, the result was a five-year public inquiry and spring-clean of the military justice system. What is going on? ..............................[Guardian, 23 Apr]     back to the top



“Shocking” New Evidence In Iraqi Civilian Torture Cases - The Victims' Response    Lawyers acting for Iraqis tortured (to death) will on 16 April make publicly available 148 photographs of victims. There are 46 photographs showing the 93 different injuries to Baha Mousa who died whilst in detention with UK troops in Basra in September 2003. Another 102 photographs show the severe injuries suffered by another five men, and other injuries to the remaining four men, who were detained alongside Baha Mousa. ..............................[Public Interest Lawyers, 12 Apr]     back to the top



Lords Hansard text for 27 Mar 200727 Mar 2007    Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:In connection with the recent acquittal of six defendants at the court martial arising from the death in Basra in 2003 of Mr Baha Mousa and related matters, whether they will publish in full the observations of Mr Justice McKinnon. ..............................[Lords Hansard, 27 Mar]     back to the top



Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Where is the justice for the family of Baha Mousa?    Our soldiers are confident they can, with impunity, treat Iraqis like vermin. Try to empathise with what they must be going through, the grieving relatives coping with the untimely deaths of two men, both victims of the war in Iraq. One, Matty Hull (25), was a young British soldier; the other, Baha Mousa (26), an ordinary Iraqi hotel worker in Basra. Neither was an inevitable casualty of war but the victim of servicemen brazenly flouting the rules of engagement in Iraq, an abominable operation that has brought out the worst of human nature on all sides. ..............................[Independent, 19 Mar]     back to the top



The victims of war: 93 injuries, one killing, no justice    On 4 January 2004, Robert Fisk broke the story in The Independent on Sunday of the death of Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel receptionist, in British military custody. The previous September, he and seven other Iraqi civilians held by the Queen's Lancashire Regiment had been handcuffed, hooded, forced into stress positions, deprived of sleep and subjected to 36 hours of assaults, during which they were kicked, punched and beaten. ..............................[Speaker Of The Truth, 18 Mar]     back to the top



How army's £20m trial failed to find the killers    During a six-month court martial, British soldiers giving evidence on the death of an Iraqi, Baha Musa, were unable to answer more than 650 questions. Just when it mattered most, they couldn't remember. The soldiers were providing evidence at the most expensive court trial in British military history, but often they struggled to remember a thing. ..............................[Observer, 18 Mar] .
See also: [£20m trial over Iraqi death could end in fine]     back to the top



'Concerns' over Iraq abuse trial    The attorney general says he has concerns about the failed prosecution of British soldiers charged with the abuse of Iraqi civilians. Lord Goldsmith told the BBC there were issues about the "capacity of the investigators" and the "lack of clarity" about detainee treatment. ..............................[BBC News, 15 Mar]     back to the top



United Kingdom Court Martial acquittals: many questions remain unanswered and further action required to ensure justice     Amnesty International public statement that considers that the court martial proceedings against seven UK soldiers in connection with the treatment of detainees in Iraq left many questions unanswered and underscore the need for the UK to take further action to ensure justice is done and to revise the manner in which allegations of serious human rights violations by members of its armed forces are investigated. ..............................[The Pat Finucane Centre, 15 Mar]
See also: [Briefing to the Human Rights Committee]     back to the top



Army on trial    You must search long and hard to find anyone who is truly satisfied after the final acquittals in the court martial of seven British soldiers following the death in custody of the Iraqi prisoner Baha Musa in Basra in 2003. Even the six acquitted defendants (the seventh pleaded guilty) think their lives and careers have been ruined by the proceedings. The army fears that the cases have been legally dubious all along. The victim's family is outraged that justice for their loss has again been denied. Meanwhile, the public looks on in confusion as both sides in the case emerged from the court to denounce the inadequacies of the proceedings with equal indignation. Even the supervising judge seemed to say that justice had not been done. ..............................[Guardian, 15 Mar]     back to the top



A 'witch-hunt' that cost £20m    The Attorney General was accused of carrying out a "political witch-hunt" after a £20million prosecution of British troops accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners ended with six men acquitted on all charges. Supporters and lawyers demanded to know why Lord Goldsmith had insisted on bringing the court martial. ..............................[Daily Mail, 14 Mar]     back to the top



Goldsmith under fire over Iraq 'abuse' trial    The Attorney General was criticised last night over the decision to prosecute troops in Iraq after the most expensive court martial in British history ended in acquittal. After more than three years of investigation and at a cost of £20 million, the case against a group of soldiers allegedly responsible for the killing of an Iraqi while in British custody ended after the last two defendants were acquitted. ..............................[Telegraph, 14 Mar]     back to the top



Court Martial Acquittals in Baha Mousa Case:The full truth of what happened remains unknown    Yesterday’s final court martial acquittals of soldiers in connection with Baha Mousa’s brutal death in custody raise far more questions than they answer. ..............................[Redress, 14 Mar]     back to the top



Soldiers cleared over Iraq abuse    A court martial has cleared two UK soldiers of failing to ensure their men did not abuse Iraqi civilians in Basra. Maj Michael Peebles and Warrant Officer Mark Davies had denied charges of negligently performing their duties. In all, six soldiers were acquitted at the hearing in Bulford, Wiltshire. A seventh soldier had previously admitted one charge of inhumane treatment. The allegations arose after the death of an Iraqi prisoner, Baha Mousa, in British custody during September 2003. Cpl Donald Payne, who admitted treating Iraqis inhumanely, is the only soldier to have been convicted at the end of the six-month hearing. He is awaiting sentencing. ..............................[BBC News, 13 Mar]
See also: [Timeline: Iraqi abuse trial]
See also: [Soldiers 'not brought to justice']    back to the top



Cleared colonel may give up career    Colonel Jorge Mendonca, who received the Distinguished Service Order for his active duty in Iraq, said he believed that the manner in which soldiers are investigated and charged needed "close examination", a view known to have the support of many senior officers. But the colonel said it was the stress of the investigation and subsequent trial on his second wife, Louise, and his family that had caused him the most distress and forced him now to "think deeply" about the his military future. ..............................[Sunday Telegraph, 18 Feb]     back to the top



Officer cleared of Iraqi abuse may leave the army    Colonel Jorge Mendonca, the decorated former commander of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, said he would think "deeply" about his future in the coming weeks and months. ..............................[Daily Mail, 16 Feb]     back to the top



Case collapses against British soldiers on trial for war crimes against Iraqis    The prosecution of seven soldiers accused of offences linked to the death of an Iraqi civilian collapsed yesterday when a High Court judge threw out six of the nine charges. The decision came after more than five months of a court martial thought to have cost up to £20 million. It puts in the spotlight the system of charging members of the British Armed Forces with offences arising from incidents in Iraq. ..............................[Times, 15 Feb]
See also: [A disturbing case for over-stretched Army]
See also: [Our soldiers must not be treated as toys ]
See also: ['Justice regardless of rank']     back to the top



36 hours in detention    Insurgents had been attacking British troops in southern Iraq since the end of the combat phase of the war on May 1. Operation Salerno began on September 14, 2003. Acting on intelligence, soldiers from The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (QLR) went to the Hotel Haith-am and found AK47 rifles. They arrested nine Iraqis, including the receptionist Baha Musa, 26, and took them to a temporary detention centre run by the QLR, commanded by Colonel Jorge Mendonca. ..............................[Times, 16 Feb]     back to the top





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