Iraq Historic Allegations Team
|Iraq Historic Allegations Team|
The Iraq Historic Allegations Team was set up by the Coalition Government of David Cameron in the summer of 2010, in furtherance of an undertaking given by the predecessor government of Gordon Brown in March 2010. On 1 November 2010, Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey announced that it had begun its work.  and that he anticipated it would complete its work in around 2 years. It's stated purpose is to investigate allegations of abuse of Iraqi citizens by British Service personnel. It is headed by Det Ch Supt Geoff White, a retired senior police officer with other members drawn from retired civilian policemen and serving member of the military.
Initial report of problems with the Inquiry
In June 2011 the BBC produced a report by Angus Crawford headlined "Iraq Historic Allegations team probe 'is a shambles'".  It detailed complaints by Phil Shiner, lawyer for all the complainants, that the interview processes adopted by the inquiry team was a shambles. In a judicial review the Court of Appeal ruled in November 2011 that the involvement of the General Police Duties branch of the Royal Military Police (RMP) "substantially compromised" the inquiry because members of the unit had participated in detentions in Iraq.
Parliamentary announcement March 2012
On 26 March 2012 Nick Harvey MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, announced a 'reconfiguration' of IHAT in light of a Court of appeal judgement. The reconfiguration involved removing the Royal Military Police from IHAT and assigning its role to the Royal Navy Police. He also announced that two further investigations would be undertaken:
- Baha Mousa - within the existing IHAT organisation, and
- al-Skeini and others - by a separate team to be constituted to investigate further cases following a July 2011 European Court of Human Rights judgement in the case. 
Inquiry whistleblower alleges 'Whitewash'
Louise Thomas, a 45 year old retired WREN, former police officer and official of the inquiry resigned in early October 2012 alleging that the inquiry was shaping up to become "little more than a whitewash"  
From the UK Guardian:
Thomas said she had seen around 1,600 videos of interrogation sessions, a number of which showed prisoners being abused, humiliated and threatened.
They suggested that some of the detainees were being subject to extreme sleep deprivation and beaten between interrogation sessions. She alleges that the abuses recorded in the videos are being investigated in an ineffective manner, by investigators who sometimes show little concern for what they are seeing, and that not all relevant material has been handed over to the inquiry by the MoD.
"I saw a really dark side of the British army. The videos showed really quite terrible abuses. But some of the IHAT investigators just weren't interested."
Judgement - Criminal prosecution "very unlikely"
The case started on 29 January 2013 and a judgement was handed down by Mr Justice Silber on 24 May 2013, which rejected claims that IHAT was not independent and concluded that because "none of those present at the time of death are likely to give evidence because of what McKinnon J described at the end of the criminal trial of Baha Mousa as “a more or less obvious closing of ranks”... we consider that it is very unlikely that there will be a criminal prosecution".
- MOD's ‘Iraq Historic Allegations Team’ to face further legal challenge - Public Interest Lawyers web site December 2012
- File:MOD-Iraq-Historic-Allegations-Team.pdf - 26 March 2012 Parliamentary announcement about the reconstitution of IHAT in light of Court of Appeal judgement.
- Did British Soldiers Carry Out Summary Executions and Rape Civilians in Iraq? - Samuel Oakford, Vice News 27 November 2015
- UK Soldiers May Face Iraq War Crime Charges - Sky News 2 January 2016
|Document:Second Baha Mousa Memorial Lecture||speech||September 2010||Phil Shiner||A shocking introduction to the systematic abuse of prisoners by the British military in Iraq and focusing on the case of Baha Mousa|
- Iraq Historic Allegations Team starts work - MOD website 1 November 2010
- Iraq Historic Allegations team probe 'is a shambles' - BBC 14 June 2011
- File:MOD-Iraq-Historic-Allegations-Team.pdf - 26 March 2012 Parliamentary annonouncement about the reconstitution of IHAT
- Iraq abuse inquiry little more than a whitewash, says official - Guardian 11 October 2012 ]
- MoD investigate claims of Iraq abuse inquiry 'whitewash' - Telegraph 12 October 2012
- "Approved Judgement" (PDF). Judiciary of England and Wales.
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