How soldiers refute claims they faked pictures
Tuesday 04 May 2004
The two soldiers who supplied the photographs to the
Daily Mirror sought yesterday to refute accusations that they were fakes.
The two soldiers who supplied the photographs to the Daily Mirror sought yesterday to refute accusations that they were fakes.
On the point that an SA 80A1 rifle appeared to be on show when only the more advanced A2 was used in Iraq, and why the rifle lacked a shoulder strap, Soldier "A" said: "I was carrying an A2, I think the one in the picture is that model as well. I can't explain why it may not be.
"Some soldiers wore rifle slings, many others didn't. Some found that in a situation where you might have to open fire, a sling made moving the weapon to the firing position very awkward."
On why the alleged victim appeared not to be protecting himself, curling into a foetal position, while being attacked, Soldier "A" said: "That's how he was. I cannot say why they aren't. His arms were tied behind his back."
On the allegation that the truck in which the prisoner was being attacked seemed to be a Bedford, which was not used in Iraq by the British Army, Soldier "A" said: "It was a four-ton truck. I'm not sure about the make. We always used that sort of truck when we were on raids as did other units. It was standard practice."
On the argument that troops from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment wore either helmets or berets while serving in Iraq, and not floppy hats as in the photographs, Soldier "B" said: "We wore floppy hats all the time. A beret was too hot, a helmet cumbersome."
On allegations that the alleged victim wore a T-shirt bearing Iraqi colours, which would not be worn in the Shia south, and also that it appeared to be undamaged, Soldier "B" said: "We saw dozens of Iraqis wearing exactly those T-shirts. The man was wearing some sort of Arab dress over his T-shirt and it was ripped off during the arrest."
On why the rifles in the photographs appeared to be so clean, Soldier "A" said: "We cleaned our rifles all the time. It could have been cleaned that afternoon."
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