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Freed computer expert tells of beatings and mock executions

The British computer expert held hostage in Iraq for more than two years revealed last night that he was tortured and subjected to mock executions.

Peter Moore said that during the first few months of captivity he and the four other British men taken prisoner with him were repeatedly subjected to beatings and a form of water torture. "I think 2007 was pretty harsh. We were in chains, blindfolded, handcuffed – periodically beaten, water poured over us," he said yesterday in his first televised interview since being released.

On one occasion, he told Channel 4 News, "the guards came in, handcuffed me, blindfolded me, put a pistol to my head and pulled the trigger and fired off another one behind my back. I just thought I was dead. Then I realised I could still hear laughter."

He was taken hostage along with four of his bodyguards by Shia militiamen while in the Iraqi Finance Ministry building in Baghdad in May 2007. Three of his fellow prisoners – Jason Creswell, Jason Swindlehurst and Alec MacLachlan – were murdered and their bodies returned. The fourth, Alan McMenemy, is believed to have been shot dead but the hostage-takers have yet to return his body.

Mr Moore lit candles for the four men at Lincoln Cathedral on Monday night and called on his former captors yesterday to release Mr McMenemy's remains. He paid tribute to the four bodyguards yesterday by revealing that he owned his life to them: "I'm very grateful to Jason, Jason, Alec and Alan for their help and the medical treatment I received. Without their help I wouldn't be here today."

Mr Moore, 36, from Lincoln, said that in 2008 his conditions improved, though he was separated from the other four hostages.