The Guardian reports (08 Jun 2010) that the head of the army during the invasion of Iraq, giving evidence at the Baha Mousa Inquiry, has delivered a withering attack on the commander of the regiment in whose custody a civilian was beaten to death:

"It is absolute bedrock to the British army's philosophy that a commanding officer is responsible for what goes on within his command," General Sir Michael Jackson told the inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel worker who died in September 2003.

The death of Mousa, 26, remained "a stain on the character of the British army", he added. The inquiry has heard that Mousa was hooded for 23 hours and 40 minutes during 36 hours in the custody of 1st Battalion the Queen's Lancashire Regiment before he died.

Asked if those below the commanding officer should have known what was going on, he said: "Those who were present in that place at the time of these dreadful events must answer that question." Jackson did not name him but the regiment was commanded by Colonel Jorge Mendonça, who was decorated before becoming the most senior British army officer to face a court martial in modern times. He was charged with negligently performing a duty but cleared in 2007. ...

Full article, by Guardian Defence Correspondent Richard Norton-Taylor: Baha Mousa death 'a stain on army's character'