UK soldier admits war crime against Iraqis

September 19th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: UK soldier admits war crime against Iraqis

Media: Reuters
Byline: Jeremy Lovell
Date: 19 September 2006

BULFORD CAMP - A British soldier pleaded guilty on Tuesday to committing a
war crime by inhumanely treating detainees while serving in Iraq.

Corporal Donald Payne is one of seven British soldiers facing court martial
over the death in custody three years ago of an Iraqi hotel receptionist in
the southern city of Basra.

Five of the seven were serving with the Queens Lancashire Regiment while two
others were with the Intelligence Corps at the time of the death of Baha
Musa after his arrest by a British patrol six months after the 2003 U.S.-led
invasion of Iraq.

The men face charges ranging from manslaughter to negligence.

Musa, the court heard, had 93 injuries on his body, including a broken nose
and ribs, while another detainee was so badly beaten that he nearly died
from kidney failure.

All were held in a raid on a Basra hotel as the insurgency grew. Guns,
grenades, ammunition, bayonets and a sniper scope were found in the raid.

Britain, Washington's main ally in Iraq, has investigated scores of deaths
and injuries of Iraqis since joining the war.

Three British soldiers were jailed in February 2005 for abusing Iraqi
detainees in a case that drew comparisons with the mistreatment of Iraqis by
U.S. troops at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Chief among the accused is Payne, 35, who is charged with the manslaughter
of Musa, inhumane treatment of prisoners and trying to pervert the cause of
justice by getting people to lie about the cause of death.


The prosecution accused Payne, a military policeman in charge of the
detainees, of beatings, sleep deprivation and forcing the men to stand for
hours in extremely painful positions.

"We are dealing in this case with systematic abuse against prisoners
involving unacceptable violence against persons who were detained in
custody, hooded, handcuffed and wholly unable to protect themselves,"
prosecutor Julian Bevan told the 7-man court martial panel.

He accused Payne of being mainly responsible for the abuse, which included
tweaking of nipples, punching and forcing the drinking of urine.

Payne pleaded guilty to inhumane treatment of Iraqi detainees -- a war crime
-- but not guilty to the other two charges.

Also in court were Sergeant Kelvin Stacey, 29, charged with assault causing
actual bodily harm, Lance Corporal Wayne Crowcroft, 22, and Private Darren
Fallon, 23, charged with the inhumane treatment of detainees.

Major Michael Peebles, 35, and Warrant Officer Mark Davies, 37, both of the
Intelligence Corps, and Commanding Officer Colonel Jorge Mendonca are all
charged with negligently performing a duty by failing to stop the abuse.

All six pleaded not guilty.

In pre-trial hearings, Judge Stuart McKinnon ruled that no pictures or
images of the accused or details of their home addresses or locations may be
published for fear of revenge attacks on them or their families.

The trial at the Bulford army camp near Salisbury, 70 miles

southwest of London, is expected to last up to four months.

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