Friday, November 04, 2005

Seven Brit Paratroopers Acquitted

Seven British paratroopers on trial before a court martial for allegedly committing murder in Iraq have been acquitted due to "false statements" by the Iraqi witnesses against them.

From the Timesonline:
Exaggerated and false statements by Iraqis flown in to be star witnesses against the seven soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment destroyed the prosecution’s case, a judge ruled yesterday.

Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett, presiding over the court martial at Colchester barracks, said that it would be a miscarriage of justice to blame the seven soldiers for the death of Nadhem Abdullah, 18, in May 2003. He ordered that the seven men be cleared of murder and violent disorder in a case that has already cost an estimated £8 million.
All well and good, or should be, but it seems that a pack of quislings within the British government wanted the soldiers convicted, and now they bloody well want to know why the case against them collapsed [emphasis added]
The authority, headed by Major-General David Howell, the Army’s most senior lawyer, said that a report on the case would be sent to Lord Goldsmith, QC, the Attorney-General. The authority said that the charges had been “in the public interest”. But lawyers acting for the seven men — those still serving will return to their duties — hinted at political reasons behind the court martial. Rex Tedd, QC, defending Corporal Evans, 32, said that there had been “a political overview” at various stages.
And while these contemptible political weasels are busy trying their country's own soldiers to advance their own careers:
Lawyers for the defendants said that the case suffered from serious shortcomings, and that the soldiers had been under terrible strain for more than two years.
I imagine being falsely accused of murder by the people you're protecting adds its own little horror to their nightmare. Not to mention the fact that the "star witnesses", Iraqi villagers, were paid $100 per day for their services.

At least this travesty has spurred "an urgent review of evidence" in other cases pending against British soldiers.