Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – MEE reported that a European human rights organisation has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reopen its investigation into war crimes committed by the UK in Iraq.
The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) submitted a request to the ICC on Thursday for a review of the decision by the body’s chief prosecutor not to pursue an investigation.
They added that the request was also filed on behalf of Sabah al-Sadoon, an Iraqi national who was captured and tortured by UK soldiers in Basra.
Despite finding “reasonable basis” for allegations of war crimes against British soldiers in Iraq, then prosecutor Fatou Bensouda dropped a preliminary investigation, citing the UK’s own efforts to investigate the conduct of its troops in the war.
“Legal and factual errors led to the incomprehensible decision to close the preliminary examination into potential war crimes by UK forces in Iraq,” said Wolfgang Kaleck, general secretary of ECCHR.
“The prosecutor failed to give sufficient weight to critical facts like the allegations that British authorities actively covered up evidence.
“The UK remains unwilling to adequately investigate the crimes – so the ICC must reopen investigations to prevent powerful actors, such as the UK, from getting away with grave crimes like torture.”
Sadoon, who had previously attempted and failed to have his case heard in the UK courts, was arrested and subjected to torture by British soldiers in Basra on 22 June 2003.
In a statement, he said “I expect the ICC prosecutor to reconsider the decision as important issues have not been dealt with thoroughly, such as responsibility of military commanders,”.