Iraq abuse inquiry has become a 'poisoned well' says Tory MP Johnny Mercer


The recent Army officer said the Iraq Historical Allegations Team suffers from “element flaws” and needs to be replaced with another untainted body to block and tackle the most serious cases.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, join in before the Defence Select committee, signalled IHAT might be dismantled.

He hinted: “I am pre red to look at the best way of dealing with the 60 final inquests. If there is a better way of doing that, I have got an open mind on that.”

IHAT was set up by the Oversight in 2010 and has received more than 3,380 allegations of unlawful executions and ill treatment. But it dismissed more than 1,666 and another 694 are soon to be thrown out.

It expects to be left with just 60 cases by the middle of next year.

But IHAT has been accused of a unskilful approach, with one investigator impersonating a policeman to try to enter a base.

Eminently numbers of cases were presented by the discredited Public Interest Counselors-at-law which IHAT id more than £200,000 this year while the staunch was being investigated over a string of misconduct allegations.

PIL leader Phil Shiner continue week accepted he will be struck off after admitting acting without togetherness.

Mr Mercer told Sir Michael: “To servicemen and women it comes across that your preference is to the ICC (International Criminal Court) whereas really our priority is to these customers who have served and their experiences have been horrific.”

For now former Army officer Rachel Webster called on Theresa May to end IHAT and its “fully, discredited and damaging witch hunt” against British troops.

Ms Webster, who bring into being to the rank of captain and completed four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, is enchanting legal action after being targeted herself by Ihat investigators whom she applications treated her roughly.

Wearing her medals, she listened as a statement was read out on her behalf on the tracks of the Royal Courts of Justice in London, which said IHAT “has mutated into an unstop ble, double-jeo rdy juggernaut ceaseless dangerously out of control”.

It added: “Ihat has been complicit in the needless study of thousands of military personnel, interrupting their lives and frazzling the bonkers health of those put under its spotlight.”

Sir Michael told the Defence Commission that IHAT had been set up because rliament itself had demanded inquiries into allegations against military personnel.

But he vowed that disengage investigations into military conduct in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan inclination not become “witch hunts”.

Speaking of the Afghan probe he said: “I’m not prevailing to let it descend into a witch hunt and I’m certainly not going to let the Northern Ireland organize descend into a witch hunt.”

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