Taskforce to investigate Iraqi civilians' 'torture'
Wednesday 10 March 2010
One of the country's former top policemen is to head a team of investigators who will travel to Iraq to interview witnesses of the alleged murder and torture of civilians by the British Army.
The taskforce will report to a retired High Court judge who is chairing the inquiry into the events which took place in Iraq in 2004.
Inquiry chairman Sir Thayne Forbes, who presided in the murder trial of Harold Shipman, said defence officials will be forced to disclose documents and provide witnesses if they do not co-operate with the new public inquiry into Iraqi abuse claims.
The Al-Sweady Inquiry is looking into allegations that British soldiers murdered and tortured Iraqi civilians in the aftermath of the "Battle of Danny Boy" in southern Iraq in 2004.
It will report on claims that 20 or more Iraqis were unlawfully killed and others ill-treated at a UK base in Maysan Province called Camp Abu Naji.
The Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth announced the inquiry after admitting that there had been "failures" in the Ministry of Defence's disclosure of documents to lawyers for some of the alleged victims.
The team of four investigators, all retired police officers, appointed to help the inquiry is headed by former detective chief superintendent Stephen Condon.
Mr Condon led one of Scotland Yard's murder squads and was an adviser to the defence team that had the former Kosovan prime minister Ramush Haradinaj cleared of war crimes charges in April 2008.
He and his unit are unlikely to visit Iraq because of security concerns and will probably have to interview Iraqi witnesses in a neighbouring country, inquiry secretary Lee Hughes said.
Stressing that the inquiry was at a very early stage, Sir Thayne appealed for people to help with the investigation. "I would ask that anyone who has any relevant information to contribute should provide it as soon as possible to the inquiry solicitor," he said.
"Anyone who has any suggestions to make about a possible line of inquiry is also asked to do the same, as soon as possible."
The chairman also noted that he did not have powers to make any findings of criminal or civil liability.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 5 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final days of mother-of-two's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My Client are a successful software hous...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...
£45000 - £53000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: **MS DYNAMICS N...