Thursday, November 03, 2005

Iraq murder trial charges dropped - updated

Do trials get rigged?


The UK military's Special Investigation Branch:

Last month its leading investigator was found dead in his room in Basra...,16518,1627402,00.html


There was a trial of UK soldiers accused of Killing an Iraqi teenager, Nadhem Abdullah. The charges against the soldiers have now been dropped.

There had been delays in interviewing witnesses and defendants under caution, DNA samples had not been taken and hospital registers and burial records left uninvestigated...,16518,1627402,00.html


The court heard that blood matching teenager Nadhem Abdullah's DNA was found in a screw recess on Private Samuel May's rifle.,2763,1607940,00.html

During the trial Martin Heslop QC, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Abdullah was an "innocent" teenager who died after being subject to a gratuitously violent attack during which the paratroopers used their rifle buts, helmets, fists and feet.

"The deceased and the driver were dragged out of the taxi," said Mr Heslop. "They were made to lie down on the ground and were hit by the soldiers who used their feet, fists, helmets and rifles. The men did little but lie there."

He said a woman who witnessed the assault and tried to intervene was struck in the mouth by one of the soldiers and a dog that came out and barked was shot by a paratrooper.

Mr Abdullah was alleged to have died as a result of a "gratuitous", "unjustified" and "unprovoked" attack.


November 2005: Iraq murder trial charges dropped

The charges against seven UK soldiers accused of murdering an Iraqi civilian have been dismissed by a judge at a court martial in Colchester, Essex.

He ruled there was insufficient evidence against the seven, accused of murdering Nadhem Abdullah.

The 18-year-old was alleged to have died following an attack on Iraqi civilians in al-Ferkah, southern Iraq, in May 2003.

The Parachute Regiment soldiers always denied murder and violent disorder.

The trial has cost taxpayers an estimated £10m.

During the court martial, Martin Heslop QC, prosecuting, told the court Mr Abdullah was an "innocent" teenager who died after an "unjustified", "unprovoked" and "gratuitous" attack on him.

Three weeks after "formal hostilities" had ceased, the paratroopers had been in pursuit of a white pick-up truck when they passed a white Toyota containing Mr Abdullah and Athar Saddam, Mr Heslop said.

They had boxed in the taxi before dragging the deceased and the driver out and attacking them with "feet, fists, helmets and rifles", he alleged.

Judge Blackett directed the panel hearing the court martial to return a not guilty verdict on all seven defendants after criticising the "inadequate" investigation into the case.

He said that "after discarding the evidence that is too inherently weak or vague for any sensible person to rely on it" the panel "could never reach the high standard of proof required to be sure of the guilt of any defendant".

The judge said the prosecution team had presented their case "properly and objectively".

"However, it has become clear to everyone involved as the trial has progressed that the main Iraqi witnesses had colluded to exaggerate and lie about the incident."

...The cleared soldiers are Corporal Scott Evans, 32, and Privates Billy Nerney, 24, Samuel May, 25, Morne Vosloo, 26, Daniel Harding, 25, Roberto Di-Gregorio, 24, and Scott Jackson, 26.

April 2005: Trial of Trooper Kevin Williams for murdering Iraqi civilian collapses after prosecutors offer no evidence

March 2005: Jubilee Line fraud case collapses after 21 months and £60m in costs

Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked

Anglo-American fascism



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