Soldier took torture snaps
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Soldier 'took torture snaps'
By Colin Adamson, Evening Standard
30 May 2003
A British soldier is today being questioned by Ministry of Defence war crimes investigators after the emergence of photographs showing disturbing scenes of alleged "torture" of Iraqi PoWs.
One of the photographs is reported to show an Iraqi PoW gagged and bound, hanging in netting from a fork-lift truck. Others allegedly depict soldiers committing sex acts near captured Iraqis.
Photograph developers are understood to have called the police because they were concerned about a number of pictures on a roll of film that had been handed in to their shop in Tamworth, Staffordshire, for developing by a soldier from the 1st Royal Regiment of Fusiliers recently returned from Iraq.
The matter is now in the hands of the Army's Special Investigation Branch and the soldier concerned is said to be being held in custody at a secret military location. A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: "We confirm an investigation is under way into allegations of photos depicting maltreatment of Iraqi PoWs.
"We cannot comment further. But if there is any truth in these allegations the MoD is appalled. We take responsibility to PoWs extremely seriously."
If the allegations are found to be true, the soldiers involved would be guilty of a breach of the Geneva Convention which rules that PoWs have to be treated humanely.
A senior military source quoted in The Sun today said: "At this stage it is not clear whether the Fusilier handed in the film on behalf of someone else, or took the pictures himself. Whatever the case, it is pure dynamite."
The investigation follows the high-profile case of Colonel Tim Collins whose investigation over alleged war crimes caused international outrage. The former CO of the Ist Royal Irish Regiment and witnesses strenuously denied accusations of maltreatment of Iraq PoWs made by a disgruntled US Army reserve major he had earlier disciplined.
No evidence has been found to substantiate the claims.
MoD sources stressed that the investigation into the photographs is not connected in any way to the Collins inquiry.
The 1st Royal Regiment of Fusiliers formed part of the 7th Armoured Brigade, the legendary Desert Rats, under the command of Brigadier Graham Binns.
The Fusiliers were also involved in the first Gulf War in 1991 and lost nine men when the American jets strafed their armoured personnel carriers.