Thursday, June 13, 2024

This is an ARCHIVED article at Information and links may well be out of date.

The report of the Baha Mousa inquiry will be released later today, Thursday 08 Sep 2011. The Chairman of the Inquiry will make a short statement at 11.00am "to mark the laying of the Inquiry Report before Parliament later in the day". BBC News reports:

A report into the death of an Iraqi in British army custody is to be published after a year-long inquiry.

Baha Mousa died with 93 injuries in custody in Basra in 2003. His relatives claim he was beaten to death by troops.

Sir William Gage, who heard evidence from 348 witnesses, will present his report later.

A leak last month suggested the Army would be cleared of systematic torture. The Ministry of Defence said it would consider any recommendations carefully.

Mr Mousa was arrested, along with nine other Iraqis, at the Haitham Hotel in Basra on 14 September 2003 by members of the 1st Battalion The Queen's Lancashire Regiment.

Rifles, bayonets and suspected bomb-making equipment were found at the scene. Mr Mousa was held at a temporary detention centre with the other civilians, under suspicion of being an insurgent.

The father-of-two died two days after his arrest.

In April 2007, a six-month court martial - the most expensive in British history - was held after an initial Royal Military Police investigation into the mistreatment of detainees, including Mr Mousa.

One member of the QLR, which now forms part of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, admitted inhumane treatment. Cpl Donald Payne was jailed for a year and dismissed from the Army.

In 2008, then Defence Secretary Des Browne announced a public inquiry and retired Court of Appeal Judge Sir William Gage began hearing evidence in July 2009.

Among the evidence being examined was the "conditioning" methods used by British soldiers on Iraqi prisoners, such as hooding, sleep deprivation and making them stand in painful stress positions.

The Sunday Telegraph reported in August that Sir William will criticise the chain of command at the Basra base.

In response to the Telegraph's report, the MoD said more than 100,000 service personnel served in Iraq and the vast majority conducted themselves with "extraordinary courage, professionalism and decency in very demanding circumstances".

But the actions that led to the death of Mr Mousa were "shameful and inexcusable", it added.