Up to 1,000 British Troops Face War Crimes Probes Over Iraq

Lawyers Say Evidence 'Weak' in Most Cases

Some 1,000 British soldiers are still facing possible war crimes charges related to their role in the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation of the nation, according to officials familiar with the situation.

Most of the charges are related to detainee abuse, and are based on testimony from the detainees themselves. Lawyers defending the soldiers say the evidence to support their allegations is “weak” in many of the cases.

Britain has by and large shrugged off war crimes allegations in Iraq, though a public inquiry into the practice after British soldiers tortured hotel receptionist Baha Mousa to death found that there were “systemic” problems related to the treatment of detainees.

Corporal Donald Payne was the only British soldier who pled guilty in Mousa’s killing, and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, the first time a British soldier was ever convicted of a war crime.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.