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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Hague investigation into British 'war crimes' in Iraq

The Telegraph

The International Criminal Court in the Hague has begun investigating allegations that British troops committed war crimes in Iraq by abusing and torturing hundreds of prisoners. 

A prosecutor for the Hague court has begun a “preliminary examination” of alleged abuses by British forces in Iraq between 2003 and 2008. 

The examination, the first step towards a formal investigation, raises the prospect that British soldiers and their commanders could one day face trial in the Hague for war crimes. 

The ICC said it had begun looking at the allegations after receiving an evidence dossier earlier this year from human rights lawyers alleging “systematic” abuse of detainees. 

The 250-page dossier detailed allegations of beatings, electric shocks, mock executions and sexual assault, and said those bearing ultimate responsibility for the abuses included some of the country’s most senior commanders and politicians. 

Former defence secretary Geoff Hoon and former Armed Forces minister Adam Ingram are among those named in the file. 

The court said "The new information received by the office alleges the responsibility of officials of the United Kingdom for war crimes involving systematic detainee abuse in Iraq".

The examination will look at “alleged crimes attributed to the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom” to decide if a full ICC investigation is needed. 

Hague prosecutors will look at the scale of the allegations and see who has jurisdiction. 

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