UK watchdog: Doctor dishonest in death of Iraqi

AP News
Posted: Dec 16, 2012 1:32 PM

LONDON (AP) — A medical watchdog ruled Sunday that a former British army doctor failed to protect detainees and acted dishonestly following the death of an Iraqi civilian beaten and killed in the custody of U.K. troops in 2003.

Baha Mousa died while in custody at a British base after being detained in a raid in Basra, Iraq, in September 2003. He had sustained 93 injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose. Britain's defense authorities later apologized for the mistreatment of Mousa and nine other Iraqis and paid a 3 million pound ($4.9 million) settlement. Six soldiers were cleared of wrongdoing at a court martial, while another pleaded guilty and served a year in jail.

Derek Keilloh, the senior medic on duty who treated Mousa, had denied knowledge of Mousa's injuries, claiming that he had only spotted dried blood around Mousa's nose after he was arrested and beaten.

But Britain's Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service ruled Sunday that Keilloh knew of the injuries and failed to adequately examine Mousa's body. It said he then failed to assess other detainees or protect them from further mistreatment and inform senior officers of what was going on. The tribunal will now decide if Keilloh's behavior amounts to misconduct and if so, what penalty he will face. The watchdog has the power to suspend or strip doctors of their medical licenses.

The tribunal also ruled that Keilloh engaged in "misleading and dishonest conduct" by maintaining under oath that he had seen no injuries to Mousa's body.

While the injuries to Mousa and others were the responsibility of British soldiers, there were "clearly failings by others with responsibility toward the detainees to have safeguarded their welfare," it said.