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

15:01  18 november  2019
15:01  18 november  2019 Source:   theweek.co.uk

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 UK government and armed forces have been accused of covering up the killing of civilians by British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. But former detectives from IHAT and Operation Northmoor said Phil Shiner's actions were used as an excuse to close down criminal investigations.

These criminal inquiry teams were closed before a single soldier was indicted. One IHAT detective was cited by BBC Panorama as saying that " the [ UK ] Another detective claimed that the victims of the UK soldiers' war crimes had been seriously let down, adding, "I use the word 'disgusting'."

  Why is the UK being accused of covering up war crimes? © Provided by Dennis Publishing Limited

The British government and the military covered up significant evidence of war crimes by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to reports by the BBC and The Sunday Times.

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”.

The reports have given rise to calls for the International Criminal Court to intervene and investigate the disclosures.

What is alleged to have happened?

Among the allegations are claims that a soldier in the elite SAS unit murdered three children and a young man in Afghanistan.

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.

The UK government and armed forces have been accused of covering up the killing of civilians by British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The government announced the closure of investigations into alleged war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan before a single soldier was prosecuted.

The UK government and the British army have been accused of covering up the killing of children in Afghanistan and Iraq. The MoD also said police undertook extensive investigations into allegations about the conduct of UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the SPA decided not to prosecute

It is claimed that the soldier shot the four civilians in the head at close range while they were drinking tea in their home in October 2012.

The investigation also found claims of beatings, torture, and sexual abuse of detainees by members of the Black Watch infantry unit. It is further alleged that there was widespread abuse of prisoners in the summer of 2003 at Camp Stephen, in the Iraqi city of Basra, leading to at least two deaths in custody.

Another crime looked into by the investigators was the fatal shooting of an Iraqi policeman in August 2003. It is suggested that this was covered up based on a soldier’s witness account, with the soldier later saying that evidence was fabricated without his knowledge.

The Sunday Times reports that military detectives uncovered allegations of falsified documents that were “serious enough to merit prosecutions of senior officers”.

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.

Media captionBritish Special Forces have been accused of covering up the killings of four young Afghans in 2012. The International Criminal Court could open its first investigation into the British military following a BBC programme about alleged war crimes . Panorama found evidence the state

These criminal inquiry teams were closed before a single soldier was indicted. One IHAT detective was cited by BBC Panorama as saying that “ the [ UK ] Another detective claimed that the victims of the UK soldiers’ war crimes had been seriously let down, adding, “I use the word ‘disgusting’.”

An investigator told the BBC: “The Ministry of Defence (MoD) 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.”

Responding to the claims, the MoD said that the allegations were “untrue”, adding that the decisions made by prosecutors and investigators were “independent” and involved “external oversight and legal advice”.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who worked on war crimes policy as a lawyer in the Foreign Office before entering frontline politics, told the BBC that despite the lack of any prosecutions, it had “got the right balance” in making sure that “spurious claims” were not pursued.

What will happen next?

The revelations could result in a war crimes investigation at the International Criminal Court, if the UK is deemed to have failed to hold its military forces to account. The ICC is obliged to act when countries fail to hold military forces to account for breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

Alex Salmond accused of attempted rape and sexual assaults

  Alex Salmond accused of attempted rape and sexual assaults Scotland’s former first minister is facing a total of 14 charges involving ten womenThe 64-year-old is facing a total of 14 charges, all of which he strongly denies, involving ten women.

Scots army regiment accused of covering up war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Government and the Army have been accused of covering up the killing of children in The year-long investigation claims to have found evidence of murders by an SAS soldier, as well as It is untrue to claim cases

The Government and the Army have been accused of covering up the killing of children in Afghanistan and Iraq .Leaked documents A BBC/Sunday Times investigation said it had obtained new evidence from inside the Iraq UK government and Army are accused of covering up war crimes .

There are also calls for an independent, judge-led inquiry.

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

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What has the reaction been?

Lord Macdonald, a former director of public prosecutions, said “it’s absolutely reprehensible for politicians to take it upon themselves to interfere in investigations into crimes this serious, and to close those investigations down before they’re complete”.

But Hilary Meredith, visiting professor of law and veterans’ affairs at the University of Chester, who has represented several soldiers facing similar allegations, said: “This so-called new evidence has no credibility whatsoever. It is flawed, baseless and biased.”

The BBC added that the ICC is “taking the allegations very seriously”.

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