The Truth about British army

Lt Col Nicholas Mercer, senior military legal adviser, and now an Anglican priest, writes in The Guardian, ‘In the past few days a number of politicians and former generals have criticised the so-called hounding of British soldiers by what they claim are just money-grabbing lawyers launching ill-founded cases into alleged wartime abuse . . . This is an orchestrated narrative: cases are carefully selected and dropped into the public domain, and the press and public lap them up. The reality, of course, is somewhat different.

First, the idea that the claims are largely spurious is nonsense. The Ministry of Defence has already paid out £20m in compensation to victims of abuse in Iraq. This is for a total of 326 cases, which by anyone’s reckoning is a lot of money and a shocking amount of abuse. Anyone who has been involved in litigation with the MoD knows that it will pay up only if a case is overwhelming or the ministry wants to cover something up. Second, allegations have been made about abuse of prisoners and civilians from the outset of the Iraq war in 2003 . . . Finally, it has been well documented that there were secret detention facilities in the UK area of operations which appear to have bypassed prisoner of war facilities. If this is correct, it is in violation of the Geneva conventions and, if the prisoners were spirited out of the country, then that could amount to a grave breach’ . . .  click here