Morgan to miss court martial of soldier over faked Iraq pictures

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The Independent Online

Piers Morgan, sacked as the editor of the Daily Mirror after publishing fake photographs claiming to show abuse of Iraqi prisoners, will not give evidence at the court martial of a soldier accused of staging them for the newspaper.

Piers Morgan, sacked as the editor of the Daily Mirror after publishing fake photographs claiming to show abuse of Iraqi prisoners, will not give evidence at the court martial of a soldier accused of staging them for the newspaper.

The trial of Private Stuart Mackenzie, a member of the Territorial Army, starts next week at Catterick camp in North Yorkshire. A QC for the Mirror has been present at pre-trial hearings because some Mirror journalists are to face cross-examination. Mr Morgan was sacked with a severance payment estimated to be £1.7m two weeks after the photographs were published in May 2003.

Pte Mackenzie, 25, is alleged to have helped organise the taking of the photographs which purported to show British soldiers urinating on a captive Iraqi. They were reproduced on the internet, causing anger in the Arab world.

The Mirror has admitted offering two men they thought were in the Queen's Lancashire Regiment (QLR) £10,000 for them. Later, real photographs emerged of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, leading to the imprisonment of soldiers involved.

Pte Mackenzie, a former McDonald's restaurant manager and Inland Revenue employee, from Haslingden, Lancashire, was in the Lancastrian and Cumbrian Volunteers, and served in Iraq in 2003 attached to the QLR.