In the Media

Soldiers avoid courts martial

PUBLISHED January 5, 2007

Nine soldiers from The Light Infantry who were investigated after an amateur video was broadcast, allegedly showing their involvement in the kicking of a dead body and beating up a number of young Iraqi demonstrators, are not to face courts martial.

The Army Prosecuting Authority has decided that there is insufficient evidence against any of the soldiers to merit a prosecution. 
Two of the soldiers may now face summary disciplinary action after the authority ruled that there was evidence to support charges of conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline under the Army Act 1955. The two could be dismissed from the Army.

An investigation into the alleged beatings was made after clips from the video, apparently taken by a soldier serving at the British base at al-Amarah in southern Iraq, were published by the News of the World last February.

Only two of the nine soldiers were identified. All were wearing full riot gear.

The alleged incident took place in al-Amarah, a mainly Shia town north of Basra, in April 2004. The four Iraqis seen being assaulted had been snatched from a rioting crowd. Another part of the video showed the body of a dead civilian being kicked.

The authority has referred the case back to the Army. The Ministry of Defence would not comment on the decision