Senior officers 'approved abuse of Iraqi prisoners'

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Senior British Army officers were accused in court of officially sanctioning the hooding and mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners in contravention of the Geneva Conventions. At a court martial in Bulford Camp, Wiltshire, in which seven soldiers are charged with abuse of nine Iraqis, a witness said military lawyers ordered him to "condition" prisoners for tactical questioning. One of the detainees, Baha Musa, 26, later died.

Major Antony Royce, formerly of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, told the court that, after he was put in charge of internment, he was instructed by Major Mark Robinson, a brigade intelligence adviser, to use "conditioning techniques". This includes the hooding, cuffing, and beating of prisoners, depriving them of sleep and making them maintain "stress positions", all banned by the Army.

The trial continues.