This case has enraged activists to no end that Bush and Blair’s immoral, unjust, illegal Invasion of Iraq in 2003 has remained on the pages of history
The judge presiding over the public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, the Iraqi hotel receptionist killed while in the custody of British troops in Basra, made clear today that he intended to question every soldier who witnessed the incident, whether or not they were directly responsible.
The inquiry under Sir William Gage, a former appeal court judge, intends to find out what a six month court martial failed to do – not only who inflicted the injuries on Mousa, but who was responsible for the ill-treatment, and who, if anyone, objected to it.
It will also establish why five banned techniques – wall standing, hooding, subjection to noise, sleep deprivation and deprivation of food and drink – were used and whether the government and ministers knew about it.
The inquiry intends to find out which member or members of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment saw or heard the
abuse, what their reaction was, whether they reported it or not and if they did, who to, according to the inquiry’s “issues list” published today.
The list is described as a guide to the issues which will be focussed on by the inquiry, which is expected to hear evidence from witnesses early next year. The regiment’s then commander, Col Jorge Mendonca, is expected to be summoned to give evidence.
In the most infamous incident involving British troops in Iraq, 93 identifiable injuries were found on Mousa’s body. He had suffered asphyxiation. Eight other Iraqis were also inhumanly treated, the Ministry of Defence admits.
A court martial accused soldiers from the regiment of erecting a “wall of silence”. In April 2007 six soldiers including Mendonca were acquitted of negligence and abuse. A corporal admitted inhumane treatment. No one was convicted of killing Mousa.