12 Jan 2014

Blair's Government Face Crime Probe Over Iraq War Crimes

The British government has insisted it will fight a bid to trigger prosecutions of former ministers and senior military figures over alleged war crimes in Iraq. Two senior ministers in Tony Blair’s government are facing a possible criminal probe over the alleged torture and unlawful killing of hundreds of Iraqis by British soldiers.

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A complaint filed with the International Criminal Court (ICC) has accused British forces of abusing and killing detainees in their custody. The shocking dossier says "those who bear the greatest responsibility" for alleged war crimes "include individuals at the highest levels" of the British Army and political system. UK military commanders "knew or should have known" that forces under their control "were committing or about to commit war crimes". The head of the army, General Sir Peter Wall, ex-defence secretary Geoff Hoon, and former defence minister Adam Ingram are among those named in the 250-page dossier, according to the Independent on Sunday. Human rights lawyers have drawn on the cases of more than 400 Iraqis, arguing they represent "thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment". They describe incidents ranging from "hooding" prisoners to burning, electric shocks, threats to kill and "cultural and religious humiliation".

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