Sunday, July 25, 2004

Ending coverups

The British government has shown how much faith it has in its army's internal system for prosecuting human rights abuses by soldiers by stripping commanders in Iraq of their ability to veto investigations:

The move follows the refusal of a commanding officer to let Army prosecutors charge a soldier for the alleged killing of an Iraqi called Hassan Abbad Said. Ministers were forced to ask the Crown Prosecution Service and Metropolitan Police to take over the investigation.

It seems the art of the cover-up was alive and well among British forces in Iraq.

I would have thought that refusal to allow prosecution was tantamount to approval and invited the commander's prosecution under the principle of command responsibility.