British troops face war crimes charges

Brutal treatment of Iraqi prisoners by three British soldiers that may lead to their trial as war criminals has placed the Ministry of Defense in the middle of a new crisis.

The scandal broke as lawyers of former Iraqi inmates produced videos in the High Court that show the three from a military intelligence unit threatening, abusing and humiliating detainees at a secret facility near basra, in southeastern Iraq.

According to Philip Havers QC, counsel for the MoD, the case of the three men has been referred to the director of service prosecutions (DSP).
Havers said the referral was made after an investigation into their violation of the International Criminal Court Act, with “a recommendation [to the DSP] that he consider charges under the 2001 act”.

Havers added “committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” has been banned in the act along with several other practices as a war crime.

The development is part of the case of over 200 Iraqi civilians in the High Court whose lawyers asked for a public inquiry saying they have “credible” evidence of former detainees’ “systemic” torture by British forces.

The court is also investigating several other members of the military some from the Territorial Army or the Royal Navy and RAF reserves who could stand trial as war criminals.