[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 3 July, 2004, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Israeli interrogators 'in Iraq'
Brig Gen Janis Karpinski and US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz at Abu Ghraib jail, 20 July 2003
Members of Karpinski's (l) brigade have been accused of abuse
The US officer at the heart of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal says she has evidence that Israelis helped to interrogate Iraqis at another facility.

Brig Gen Janis Karpinski told the BBC she met an Israeli working as an interrogator at a secret intelligence centre in Baghdad.

A BBC reporter says it is the first time a senior US officer has suggested Israelis worked with the coalition.

The Israeli foreign ministry said the reports were completely untrue.

Intelligence access

Gen Karpinski was in charge of the military police unit that ran Abu Ghraib and other prisons when the abuses were committed. She has been suspended but not charged.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme she met a man claiming to be Israeli during a visit to an intelligence centre with a senior coalition general.

"I saw an individual there that I hadn't had the opportunity to meet before, and I asked him what did he do there, was he an interpreter - he was clearly from the Middle East," she said in the interview.

"He said, 'Well, I do some of the interrogation here. I speak Arabic but I'm not an Arab; I'm from Israel.'"

An Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib
Images of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison sparked global outrage
Until a 1999 ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court, Israeli secret service interrogators were allowed to use "moderate force".

The US journalist who broke the Abu Ghraib scandal told the programme his sources confirm the presence of Israeli intelligence agents in Iraq.

Seymour Hersh said that one of the Israeli aims was to gain access to detained members of the Iraqi secret intelligence unit, who reportedly specialise in Israeli affairs.

'Convenient scapegoat'

The BBC reporter, Matthew Grant, says that whatever the truth, these allegations could cause anger in the Arab world.

Photographs of naked Iraqi detainees being humiliated and maltreated first started to surface in April, sparking shock and anger across the world.

One soldier has been sentenced and six others are awaiting courts martial for abuses committed at Abu Ghraib jail.

Gen Karpinski has said she was being made a "convenient scapegoat" for abuse ordered by others.

Brigadier General Janis Karpinski
"I believe I was a convenient scapegoat"


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific