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20 Sep, 2016 10:20

‘I want to face war crimes trial,’ says British Army major over Iraq allegations

‘I want to face war crimes trial,’ says British Army major over Iraq allegations

An Iraq War major alleged to have been connected with the 2003 drowning death of an Iraqi teenager has said he will hand himself into a war crimes court because British justice is incapable of giving him a “fair trial.”

The unnamed serving officer maintains his innocence and in a letter to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has condemned the “13-year witch hunt” he claims he and his men have been subjected to.

The possible charges for manslaughter relate to an inquiry into the drowning death of Iraqi teenager Ahmed Jabbar Kareem Ali in British Army custody in 2003.

The decorated officer is currently on sick leave suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder, but hopes that his gesture will see the International Criminal Court (ICC) “finally and definitively put to rest this 13-year witch-hunt that seemingly has no end.

His comments come a day after former military officer turned Tory MP Johnny Mercer claimed that he had challenged then PM David Cameron on the issue of troops being threatened with prosecution in March.

He says he was told that Attorney-General Jeremy Wright – Britain’s top lawyer - had overruled attempts to stop the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) pursuing investigations.

In his scathing letter, which was seen by the Daily Mail, the major told Fallon: “You mentioned the ICC and how IHAT was a useful way of avoiding that eventuality.

He said that to make thing easier he was “willing to travel to the Netherlands and hand myself in, as there is probably more chance of a fair and timely trial there, because in the UK there is no judicial process.

'Kidnapped by the state' 

The news comes as it has been reported that a former Royal Military Police (RMP) soldier has received £5000 ($6490) compensation after being arrested and physically restrained at her home after a raid by IHAT.

Rachel Webster claims that she was restrained by officers who came to her home in January 2014 on suspicion of misconduct in a public office.

She says that during the tussle her breasts were partially exposed and she was later denied access to the toilet when she became ill.

She told the Daily Mail that the experience was like “being kidnapped by the state.