21/12/2010

Iraqis Lose High Court Abuse Bids

Iraqi civilians, who claimed they were abused by British forces in Iraq, have lost their High Court bid for a public inquiry.

Two judges stood by Defence Secretary Liam Fox's refusal to order a wide-ranging investigation.

Mr Fox argued it was not systemic and any abuse carried out involved "a few bad apples".

The 200 strong group claim they were mistreated between 2003 and 2008 in detention facilities ran by British Soldiers.

The Ministry of Defence has argued that a public inquiry would be "costly" and would be neither "necessary or appropriate".

A dedicated Iraq historic allegations team has been set up to look into claims of abuse by British forces.

Ali Zaki Mousa, the lead claimant in the case, alleges that in 2006-07 he endured months of beatings and other abuse in the custody of British troops.

In a 2006 interview with the BBC, he told he said he had been blindfolded and beaten by UK soldiers after being arrested in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on suspicion of being affiliated with militias.

(BMcN)

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