| ||Sir William Gage, who is leading the public inquiry in to the death of Baha Mousa and other Iraqi detainees at the hands of British troops, today reprimanded army intelligence chiefs for what he called “lamentable” delays in disclosing crucial information to the inquiry. |
The Guardian reports,
“The documents relate to "processes" used at Chicksands, Bedfordshire, the headquarters of the army's Intelligence Corps where interrogators are trained.”
“Gage was opening the final stage of the inquiry which heard that new guidelines stated that British soldiers ‘must never’ use as an aid to interrogation hooding, stress positions, subjection to noise, or deprivation of sleep, food or drink.”
“These techniques were banned in a 1972 directive after their use in Northern Ireland. ‘Yet key people did not know of its existence,’ said Gerard Elias QC, counsel to the inquiry. The inquiry heard that a directive signed by Bob Ainsworth, then defence secretary, in March stated that ‘all detained persons held by UK forces are treated humanely at all times in accordance with the applicable host state law, international law, and UK law.’”
“However, the inquiry heard that despite these instructions the new army directives were being amended and drafts, received by the inquiry only late on Friday, contained loopholes that both Gage and Elias said seriously worried them.”
The public inquiry follows the disclosure that British troops were practicing interrogation techniques that were forbidden thirty years ago and the resulting deaths of Iraqi civilians while in detention. Baha Mousa died in September 2003, having sustained 93 separate injuries at the hands of British soldiers.
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