Iraqis abused by British troops to get £1m damages

Nine Iraqis who were assaulted and sexually abused by British soldiers while being held at an army camp are to receive up to £1m in damages after the Ministry of Defence admitted liability.

It is the second big payout by the Army this year over allegations of abuse in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Government lawyers agreed in July to pay almost £3m in compensation to the father of an Iraqi man, Baha Mousa, who died in the custody of British troops in Basra, and to nine others who were abused in a detention centre in Basra in September 2003.

In the latest case, nine more Iraqis made allegations of "humiliating" abuse after they were arrested by the 1st Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Operation Ali Baba, which was aimed at catching and deterring looters who were stealing humanitarian aid from a British Army camp.

Four soldiers were convicted at courts martial in Germany 2005 of offences at Camp Breadbasket after photographs emerged of Iraqis being abused, including being suspended in nets from a forklift truck, and forced to adopt simulated sexual positions.

No one was charged in connection with forcing Iraqis to simulate sex acts and give a thumbs-up for the camera, despite months of investigation by the Royal Military Police.

The MoD admitted yesterday that unlawful "assaults and batteries" were suffered by nine Iraqi men claiming damages for abuse by members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in May 2003. Sapna Malik, a partner at Leigh Day & Co solicitors who are representing the men in their claims against the MoD, said: "It is good that the MoD has admitted that the treatment received by each of the claimants was unlawful, although its refusal to accept that Camp Breadbasket falls within the ambit of the Human Rights Act is frustrating. The maltreatment of the men was hideous, humiliating and degrading and the legacy lingers with them to this day.

"We hope that the admission marks the MoD's willingness to resolve the claims fairly so that the men can try to finally move forward with their lives."

However, it is understood that the MoD has requested further details of the abuse, including medical reports and witness statements before making any payouts. The MoD has also denied that the Human Rights Act or European Convention on Human Rights extended to the humanitarian aid distribution centre where the abuses occurred.

An MoD spokesman said: "This claim is currently subject to litigation and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment on the specific aspects of this case. The MoD settles compensation claims when there is a legal liability to do so. Such liability does not exist during the combat phase of an operation, but compensation is paid where it is judged that UK armed forces have been negligent in causing injury or damage post cessation of hostilities.

"Over 120,000 British troops have served in Iraq and the vast majority have conducted themselves to the highest standards of behaviour, displaying integrity and selfless commitment."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor