Here is the full text of the statement by the Chief of General Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson, as three soldiers face a court martial over charges of mistreating Iraqi civilians and following the release of photographs showing alleged abuse:
For legal reasons, I cannot comment on the photographs whilst a court
martial is continuing.
We will, however, be in a position to respond more fully
once the verdict has been handed down and any sentences passed.
In the meantime we can only repeat what we have said in the past about
abuse. We condemn utterly all acts of abuse.
Where there is evidence of abuse this
is investigated immediately.
We have always made clear that the proper way of dealing with allegations of
abuse by the armed forces is for them to be investigated by the service police
and, as appropriate, prosecuted by the independent service authorities.
I have every confidence in the military investigative and judicial system.
Some 65,000 servicemen and women have served in Iraq since the beginning of
Only a small number are alleged to be involved in incidents
of this type and, in consequence, the number of open investigations into
deliberate abuse against Iraqis is very small.
We have always taken abuse allegations seriously throughout.
We will of course study the outcome of this court martial and consider whether it raises any new issues for the Army.