23 Nov 2011

Iraqis win legal battle in fight for torture inquiry

8:36 am on 23 November 2011

More than 100 Iraqi civilians are closer to forcing a public inquiry into torture claims involving the British military.

Britain's Court of Appeal has overturned an earlier decision that an inquiry was not necessary.

The High Court ruled last December that a government established inquiry was sufficient and no independent inquiry was needed to look into alleged systematic abuse by the British army in Iraq.

In a u-turn decision, three Appeal Court judges have now found that the government inquiry lacks independence.

They have asked the Ministry of Defence to reconsider how to meet its investigative obligations.

The Ministry of Defence says it will carefully consider the judgement before deciding upon a course of action.

If the public inquiry is launched, it will look into the complaints of 128 Iraqis who claim to have been tortured and subjected to inhumane treatment at the hands of British soldiers and interrogators between 2003 and 2005.