Evidence does not show British unlawfully killed Iraqi civilians-lawyers

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 20, 2014 12:27 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - There is insufficient evidence to support allegations that British soldiers unlawfully killed Iraqis detained at an army camp in 2004, lawyers for relatives of the Iraqis said on Thursday.

The Al-Sweady inquiry, which has cost 22.2 million pounds ($36.91 million) so far, was set up to investigate allegations by Iraqis that British soldiers captured up to 20 men alive and later killed them at an army camp, and that British soldiers mistreated up to nine detainees.

But lawyers representing the Iraqi relatives of those allegedly mistreated or killed said there was insufficient material to establish that Iraqi civilians were unlawfully killed whilst in the custody of British troops at Camp Abu Naji.

"It is accepted that on the material which has been disclosed to date there is insufficient evidence to support a finding of unlawful killing in Camp Abu Naji," John Dickinson, a lawyer at Public Interest Lawyers said.

British soldiers previously said that the 20 died fighting on the battlefield and denied any mistreatment. British troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011 having been stationed in the country since a United States-led invasion in 2003. ($1 = 0.6014 British Pounds)

(Reporting By Costas Pitas, editing by Kate Holton and Guy Faulconbridge)