MPs question £60m investigation over Army abuse in Iraq
The report by MPs on the Defence Select Committee is being led by Tory MP and former Army officer Johnny Mercer who has already branded Ihat a “poisoned well”.
And yesterday he hit out at a “rotten core” of MoD civil servants who he says are behind Ihat.
Ihat was further discredited last week when Phil Shiner, one of lawyers behind 2,470 of the 3,392 allegations received, was struck off.
- Phil Shiner admits misconduct over Army Iraq abuse claims
- Calls to scrap 'unfit for purpose' Iraq War crimes probe
Ihat was further discredited last week when Phil Shiner was struck off
He was found guilty of 22 professional misconduct charges, including dishonesty and lack of integrity by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
There is a rotten core of civil servants in the MoD who have made decisions without ministerial or military input
Johnny Mercer – MP and former Army officer
The MPs are expected to question why Shiner’s now defunct fi rm Public Interest Lawyers was paid by Ihat to help with inquiries.
They are also likely to slam the MoD for paying Shiner’s firm more than £200,000 after he had already been reported to a watchdog.
And it will condemn the payment of £110,000 to an Iraqi agent who was already working for Shiner to find Iraqis who claimed to be victims of British troops.
Ihat was set up in 2010 by the Government and has been accused of heavy-handed tactics 179 British soldiers who died during the Iraq War Wed, July 6, 2016
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
179 UK servicemen and women died during the campaign that followed the invasion of Iraq on 20 March 2003.
PA 1 of 167
UK military deaths in Iraq
Ihat was set up in 2010 by the Government and has been accused of heavy-handed tactics.
No successful prosecutions have been brought though three soldiers, including a major commended for bravery, are facing manslaughter charges.
But Mr Mercer said: “I have made my distaste for the methods and behaviour of Ihat – and the MoD’s complicity in it – very obvious over the last year. The evidence has been clear…
“I am pretty clear where the problems lie.
Phil Shiner was found guilty of 22 professional misconduct charges
"There is a rotten core of civil servants in the MoD who have made decisions without ministerial or military input, and have in the process demonstrated a disturbing lack of understanding or respect for the more subtle qualities that bind an army together and make men fight for each other or a cause.”
An MoD spokesman said: “The Government is legally obliged to investigate criminal allegations and the courts are clear that if Ihat did not exist, British troops could be dragged through international courts.
"We’re committed to reducing Ihat’s caseload to a small number of credible cases.”
- Ex-officer 'unaware of abuse claim'
- Army 'cleared of wholesale abuse'
- Doctor is accused of cover-up over beating that killed Iraq war prisoner