The truck, the rifle, the laces: the MoD puts forward its evidence

There is growing confidence within the Ministry of Defence that the
Daily Mirror pictures allegedly showing British troops torturing captured Iraqis are an elaborate hoax. But the newspaper's editor Piers Morgan is insisting he will not accept they are faked until "incontrovertible evidence is produced to the contrary". These are the key areas of dispute:

There is growing confidence within the Ministry of Defence that the Daily Mirror pictures allegedly showing British troops torturing captured Iraqis are an elaborate hoax. But the newspaper's editor Piers Morgan is insisting he will not accept they are faked until "incontrovertible evidence is produced to the contrary". These are the key areas of dispute:

THE TRUCK: The interior of the vehicle in which the prisoner is allegedly being urinated on has side slats typical of a Bedford MK4. Its tailgate and cover are also more typical of the Bedford than the four-ton Leyland DAFs used to transport the Queen's Lancashire Regiment and their supplies in Iraq. There is no sign of sand or dirt inside the truck.

The Mirror insists that the truck was used in Iraq. A witness called Soldier C, who claims to have seen four incidents of violence involving the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, says he saw a Bedford truck at Basra Palace.

THE RIFLE: The weapon used in the alleged torture pictures is a pristine Mark I version of the SA80 - a predominately plastic rifle that scratches easily when used in the field. Troops are currently issued with the Mark II.

Defence experts have also highlighted the missing serial number on the rifle's foregrip and the absence of an identifying yellow armoury number. The barrel has also been left uncovered - forbidden in desert conditions. There is no "press to talk" switch allowing soldiers to use a headset while on patrol or a carrying sling. The Mirror says the pictures would need to be clearer to accurately gauge the exact weapon.

THE UNIFORM: The soldiers appear too clean to have been in a live desert conflict zone, while their unit badges are missing as are their wristwatches. In contravention of Army rules the men's webbing ammunition pouches are empty and hanging open. They are wearing non-standard issue floppy hats and their combat trousers are tucked into their boots when they would normally be secured with elastic. The Mirror's Soldier C says he wore a floppy hat throughout his tour of Iraq duty. The MoD has confirmed that floppy hats were issued and soldiers were allowed to wear what they wanted. The Mirror points out that soldiers are meant to wear clean uniforms. Webbing is often worn loose, says Soldier C.

THE BOOTS: The soldiers' boots are laced criss-cross. British soldiers always use the straight-laced method.

But Soldier C says he has never been told which way to lace his boots - it is a matter of personal choice.

THE PRISONER: He is upright and his legs are wide apart - experts say torture prisoners normally adopt the foetal position. There is also no evidence of sweating or blood. The prisoner's T-shirt bears a Syrian flag - inconsistent with the claim he is a Shia from Basra. He is also wearing underpants - not typical for Iraqis. On his head is a hessian sack which allows light to penetrate.

The Mirror insists that the T-shirts were common in Basra and that hessian sacks were used to carry sand so would have been readily available.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS: The pictures are in black and white while a typical squaddie would be more likely to use colour film. The depth of field is too great for a "happy snappy" camera and the pictures are of an unusually high definition. The images appear static and posed.

The Mirror claims the soldier may have been pressing down with his boot rather than kicking. If he was kicking, then the victim is static because he cannot see the incoming blow. The newspaper also claims soldiers are hiding their faces for fear of official censure.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Account Executive / Account Manager

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive / Account Manager is ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Social Media Account Writers

£12000 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This social media management pr...

Ashdown Group: Deputy Editor (Magazine Publishing) - Wimbledon - £23-26K

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Deputy Editor - Wimbledon...

Ashdown Group: Editor (Magazines/Publishing) - Wimbledon - £26-30K

£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Editor (Magazines/Publish...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones