Statement by Public Interest Lawyers
Public Interest Lawyers who act for the Iraqi Core Participants in the Inquiry have today (Thursday 20 March 2014) made a statement that they will not submit that, on the balance of probabilities, live Iraqis captured during the course of the battle on 14 May 2004 died or were killed at Camp Abu Naji. Following the conclusion of the majority of the military evidence and current state of disclosure of MoD material, they contend that there is insufficient material to establish that Iraqi civilians were unlawfully killed whilst in the custody of British troops at Camp Abu Naji. The allegations of mistreatment of Iraqi civilians in British custody remain.
It is for the Chairman to reach all conclusions and he will detail findings of fact in his report. In so doing he will draw on all the evidence he has seen and heard, including the statement made today by the legal representatives for the Iraqi Core Participants.
The Inquiry continues and will hear closing submissions from Core Participants on 16 April 2014.
Thereafter, the Chairman will write his report.
The Inquiry will hear oral closing submissions from Core Participants on Wednesday 16 April 2014 at 10.00am. Written submissions will be published to the website on the day. In addition, the Chairman had indicated that Core Participants have the liberty, if so advised, to lodge a further written round of closing submissions by 30 April 2014.
Oral Hearings - Military Witness Evidence
The Inquiry has finished hearing evidence from the majority of military witnesses. The link to the transcripts of that evidence can be found here.
Oral Hearings - Iraqi and Expert Witness Evidence
The Inquiry has finished hearing evidence from Iraqi witnesses and a number of expert witnesses. The Transcripts and related evidence can be viewed here.
Public Oral Hearings
On Monday 4 March 2013 the Inquiry commenced its full Public Oral Hearings.
Requests to Potential Witnesses
While a number of potential witnesses have been successfully contacted, a number have not responded to letters and may have moved address. A number still need to be traced.
Any military personnel who were engaged at Danny Boy, were present at Camp Abu Naji on 14 & 15 of May 2004 and/or connected to the Detention Facilities at Shaibah between 15 May and 23 September 2004 should contact the Inquiry without delay (Sara Coleman, Assistant Deputy Solicitor 020 7025 4478 or email email@example.com). Any person who is unsure as to whether or not they may be a witness, is requested please to check with the Inquiry.
The Chairman is grateful to those who responded to his earlier request that those who may have information relevant to his terms of reference contact the Inquiry, and to those who have responded to correspondence.
In a written statement given on Wednesday 25 November 2009, the Secretary of State for Defence, The Rt Hon Bob Ainsworth MP announced that there would be a public inquiry in to the allegations that Iraqi nationals were detained after a firefight with British soldiers in Iraq in 2004 and unlawfully killed at a British camp, and that others had been mistreated at that camp and later at a detention facility.
The Inquiry is established under the Inquiries Act 2005 and is chaired by the Sir Thayne Forbes, a retired High Court judge. His terms of reference are:
"To investigate and report on the allegations made by the claimants in the Al- Sweady judicial review proceedings against British soldiers of (1) unlawful killing at Camp Abu Naji on 14 and 15 May 2004, and (2) the ill-treatment of five Iraqi nationals detained at Camp Abu Naji and subsequently at the divisional temporary detention facility at Shaibah Logistics Base between 14 May and 23 September 2004, taking account of the investigations which have already taken place, and to make recommendations".
The Chairman has set out how he is conducting the Inquiry. Further details can be found here.
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