BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 September, 2004, 22:57 GMT 23:57 UK
UK soldier on Iraq murder charge
Hassan Sayyed
Hassan Sayyed was a married lawyer with nine children
A 21-year-old British soldier has appeared in court charged with the murder of an Iraqi civilian.

Trooper Kevin Lee Williams, of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, is accused of killing Hassan Sayyed in Ad-Dayr, in south-eastern Iraq, on 3 August 2003.

The attorney general brought the case after the soldier's officer dismissed any charges against him.

Mr Williams was granted conditional bail in a hearing at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London.

Mr Sayyed, a licensed handgun owner, is alleged to have died from gunshot wounds to the chest suffered after an encounter with British soldiers investigating an altercation between two drivers.

The soldier, wearing a dark blue suit and open-necked shirt, spoke only to confirm his name and his address was not read out in court.

Bail conditions

Mr Williams must reside at Knightsbridge barracks in central London on Tuesday night and thereafter at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, as part of his bail conditions.

He is also not permitted to leave except by permission of an officer.

Mr Williams must report daily to the Royal Military Police post at Catterick barracks, surrender his passport and undergo an examination carried out by two medical practitioners.

The soldier, who was arrested by Metropolitan Police detectives on Tuesday morning, is due to appear at the Old Bailey on 28 September.

Police investigation

The case was referred to the CPS by the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith.

He said: "This case, which involves an alleged unlawful killing by shooting of an Iraqi citizen during the course of an arrest, was brought to my attention after charges were dismissed by the soldier's commanding officer.

"This meant the case could not be tried by court martial. I referred it to the CPS who asked the Metropolitan Police for assistance in collecting further evidence."

Lawyers for the dead man's family say Mr Sayyed was carrying a licensed handgun when he was approached by British soldiers investigating an altercation between the drivers of two cars.

Mr Sayyed, who was a married lawyer with nine children, died on the way to hospital from gunshot wounds to his chest.

A police statement said: "Earlier this year the Attorney General, via the CPS, asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate the death of Mr Said.

"An investigation was launched by the Met's Homicide Command, which is part of the Specialist Crime Directorate."

The BBC's Daniel Sandford
"The hearing... was short but highly significant"


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific