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UK News International war crimes court may probe British military for first time over claims that SAS and Black Watch soldiers killed children and tortured civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan

13:05  18 november  2019
13:05  18 november  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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International Criminal Court probes claims that SAS and Black Watch soldiers killed children and tortured civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan war crimes . Fatal shooting of a policeman: The Iraqi officer was shot in August 2003, and his killing allegedly covered up using a witness account of a

The international criminal court may investigate the British military for the first time after allegations that war crimes had been committed, the A BBC/Sunday Times inquiry said it had obtained new evidence from the Iraq historic allegations team (Ihat) that investigated alleged war crimes committed

British soldiers may be investigated for the first time over war crime allegations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has said.

A BBC Panorama programme claims that killings of civilians during the conflicts have been covered up by the state.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the allegations are unsubstantiated but the ICC is reportedly taking the accusations 'very seriously'.

a man in a military uniform: A BBC Panorama programme claims that killings of civilians during the conflicts have been covered up by the state (file image) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A BBC Panorama programme claims that killings of civilians during the conflicts have been covered up by the state (file image) a sign on the side of a building: The International Criminal Court (file photo) said it has taken the accusations 'very seriously', according to the BBC © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The International Criminal Court (file photo) said it has taken the accusations 'very seriously', according to the BBC

Leaked documents allegedly contain evidence implicating British troops in killing children and the torture of civilians.

Army accused of covering up war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq

  Army accused of covering up war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq Leaked documents allegedly contain evidence implicating British troops in the torture of civilians.Leaked documents allegedly contain evidence implicating British troops in killing children and the torture of civilians.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said it may investigate the British military for the first time after allegations that war crimes had been committed, it has been reported. A BBC Panorama programme claims that killings of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq have been covered up by the

The Sunday Times elaborated on the cases under investigation and said the crimes included the murder of three children and one young man shot in Afghanistan in October 2012 by an SAS soldier while drinking tea in their home, widespread abuse of prisoners in the 2003 summer at Camp Stephen

The BBC/Sunday Times investigation said it had new evidence from inside the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), which investigated alleged war crimes committed by British soldiers in Iraq, and Operation Northmoor, which investigated alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

a man wearing a suit and tie: The Government closed IHAT and Operation Northmoor in 2017, after Phil Shiner (pictured), a solicitor who had taken more than 1,000 cases to IHAT, was struck off © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Government closed IHAT and Operation Northmoor in 2017, after Phil Shiner (pictured), a solicitor who had taken more than 1,000 cases to IHAT, was struck off

The Government closed IHAT and Operation Northmoor in 2017, after Phil Shiner, a solicitor who had taken more than 1,000 cases to IHAT, was struck off from practising law amid allegations that he had paid people in Iraq to find clients.

But some former IHAT and Operation Northmoor investigators said Mr Shiner's actions were used as an excuse to close down the inquiries.

Army accused of covering up SAS 'murder' and war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq

  Army accused of covering up SAS 'murder' and war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq Campaigners demand investigation into claims that pressure was put on detectives to close casesLeaked documents provided to an investigation by BBC Panorama and the Sunday Times detail claims that evidence of crimes committed by UK troops in Afghanistan and Iraq was not fully investigated.

Alleged evidence implicates UK troops in murder of children in Afghanistan and Iraq . It is untrue to claim cases investigated under Operation Northmoor in Afghanistan were not acted upon. The spokesman said: “Our military served with great courage and professionalism in Iraq and

war crimes amid claims British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq 'murdered children and tortured civilians '. alleged war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan before a single soldier was prosecuted. the first time about how they were prevented from prosecuting soldiers suspected of serious crimes .

No case investigated by IHAT or Operation Northmoor has led to a prosecution.

The ICC said it has taken the accusations 'very seriously', according to the BBC.

'The ICC said it would independently assess the BBC's findings and would begin a landmark case if it believed the Government was shielding soldiers from prosecution,' the corporation reported this morning.

The ICC has previously concluded it was credible British troops committed war crimes in Iraq related to the mistreatment of detainees.

The year-long investigation claims to have found evidence of murders by an SAS soldier, as well as deaths in custody, beatings, torture and sexual abuse of detainees by members of the Black Watch.

A senior SAS commander was referred to prosecutors for attempting to pervert the course of justice, the investigation claims.

John R. Bolton wearing a suit and tie: The ICC (pictured, former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton during a speech) said it has taken the accusations 'very seriously', according to the BBC © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The ICC (pictured, former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton during a speech) said it has taken the accusations 'very seriously', according to the BBC

Cases investigated include the shooting dead of three children and a young man while they were drinking tea and the alleged 'widespread' abuse of prisoners at an Iraqi detention camp.

Scots army regiment accused of covering up war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq

  Scots army regiment accused of covering up war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq Leaked documents allegedly contain evidence implicating Black Watch troops in torture and the deaths of detainees. A BBC /Sunday Times investigation said it had obtained new evidence from inside the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), which investigated alleged war crimes committed by British soldiers in Iraq, and Operation Northmoor, which investigated alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

Late last week, a probe by the BBC's Panorama programme and the Sunday Times quoted 11 British detectives as saying that they found “credible evidence” of the government and the armed forces of the UK involved in covering up torture and the illegal killing of civilians by British troops in Afghanistan

The International Criminal Court could open its first investigation into the British military following a BBC programme about alleged war crimes . The best known is that of Baha Mousa, a hotel worker in Basra who died after being tortured and beaten by British troops in 2003.

One case investigated by IHAT was the shooting of an Iraqi policeman by a British soldier on patrol in Basra in 2003.

Raid al-Mosawi was shot in an alleyway as he left his family home and later died but military prosecutors have not taken anyone to court over the incident.

Three events that are being examined

Murder of three children and one young man: They were allegedly shot in the head at close range while drinking tea in Afghanistan in October 2012. The SAS soldier and his senior officers were referred to the military prosecutor but no action was taken.

Fatal shooting of a policeman: The Iraqi officer was shot in August 2003, and his killing allegedly covered up using a witness account of a soldier who later said his evidence had been fabricated without him knowing.

Alleged abuse of prisoners: Two inmates died in custody at Camp Stephen, in Basra, Iraq,  during the summer of 2003 after alleged widespread abuse.

The Ministry of Defence said military operations are conducted in accordance with the law and there had been an extensive investigation of allegations.

Why is the UK being accused of covering up war crimes?

  Why is the UK being accused of covering up war crimes? Investigators claim serious crimes were hushed up ‘for political reasons’An investigation found that military detectives unearthed evidence of serious incidents involving innocent civilians, but that senior commanders hid the alleged war crimes “for political reasons”.

In May , the UN Committee Against Torture reportedly called on the UK to investigate claims of The probe quoted at least 11 British detectives as saying that they found “credible evidence” of war Another detective claimed that the victims of the UK soldiers ’ war crimes had been seriously let The BBC Panorama and the Sunday Times probe come after The Daily Mail reported in mid- May that

Evidence implicating British soldiers in the murder of children and the torture of civilians was covered up by military commanders, according to leaked documents that had been kept secret by the government. Military detectives unearthed disturbing allegations that senior commanders had tried to

In another case, an SAS soldier burst into a room in an Afghan village and shot three boys and a young man in the head at close range. The teacups they had been drinking from were filled with blood.

The victims, who were aged 12, 14, 17 and 20, were later claimed by the government to have been Taliban members, but no evidence was produced.

An IHAT detective told Panorama: 'The Ministry of Defence had no intention of prosecuting any soldier of whatever rank he was unless it was absolutely necessary, and they couldn't wriggle their way out of it.'

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said: 'Allegations that the MoD interfered with investigations or prosecution decisions relating to the conduct of UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are untrue.

'Throughout the process the decisions of prosecutors and the investigators have been independent of the MoD and involved external oversight and legal advice.'

The MoD said cases were referred to the independent Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) as a result of investigations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

a group of people that are standing in the dark: The government announced the closure of investigations into alleged war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan before a single soldier was prosecuted (file image) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The government announced the closure of investigations into alleged war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan before a single soldier was prosecuted (file image)

'Cases from Iraq were referred as a result of historic investigations. It is untrue to claim cases investigated under Operation Northmoor in Afghanistan were not acted upon. After careful investigation, overseen by a former chief constable, no Northmoor cases were referred to prosecutors,' the spokesman said.

The MoD also said Service Police undertook extensive investigations into allegations about the conduct of UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the SPA decided not to prosecute any of the cases referred to it.

The spokesman said: 'Our military served with great courage and professionalism in Iraq and Afghanistan and we hold them to the highest standards. It is Government policy that military operations are conducted in accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict and where allegations are raised, they are investigated.

'The Sunday Times' claims have been passed to the Service Police and the Service Prosecuting Authority who remain open to considering allegations.'

Panorama, War Crimes Scandal Exposed is on BBC One at 9pm tonight.

Read more

Edinburgh soldier cleared over deaths of Iraqi prisoners could be prosecuted by an international war crimes court .
A military veteran from Edinburgh is one of two Scottish soldiers cleared over the deaths of Iraqi prisoners who could be prosecuted by an international war crimes court. © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd The former Black Watch soldiers were among 11 British Army personnel investigated over the deaths in custody of taxi driver Rhadi Nama and teacher Abdul Jabbar Mousa Ali at Camp Stephen in Basra in May 2003.Both were told there would be no criminal proceedings against them in a military court after an investigation by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT).

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