Iraq abuse inquiries have closed with no prosecutions

Armed Combat Soldiersource: The Standard
published: 19 October 2021

The investigations into allegations of abuse by British soldiers in Iraq have now closed without any prosecutions being brought, the Defence Secretary has said.

In a written statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday, Ben Wallace said the Service Police Legacy Investigations (SPLI) had assessed 1,291 allegations since July 2017 but had now “officially closed its doors”.

He said that although 178 allegations had been formally pursued through 55 separate investigations, no soldiers had been prosecuted as a result of the SPLI’s work.

SPLI reports say that five people were referred to the Service Prosecuting Authority in 2019, but no charges were brought.

Mr Wallace said: “The vast majority of the more than 140,000 members of our armed forces who served in Iraq did so honourably. Many sadly suffered injuries or death, with devastating consequences for them and their families.”

The SPLI replaced the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) in 2017 after Phil Shiner a solicitor who had taken numerous cases to IHAT, was struck off for using financial incentives to obtain clients.

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