UK soldiers go on trial for abusing Iraqi prisoners

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Three British soldiers are being court martialled by a military court in Osnabruck, Germany. They are accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners at a humanitarian aid camp called the Bread Basket outside of Basra, in May 2003.

The court has been shown 22 photographs showing the alleged abuse. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed his disgust at the images but also his hopes that the allegations will not taint the image of the British Army.

Two soldiers are denying all charges while a third has admitted one charge, but denied another. One soldier's defence lawyer has stated that the soldiers were following orders, having been told to "work [the prisoners] hard."

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.