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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 November 2006, 14:31 GMT
Soldier silent over abuse photos
One of the hoax Iraqi abuse photographs
The photographs were exposed as having been staged
A Territorial Army soldier who allegedly sold fake pictures showing British troops abusing Iraqis has refused to answer questions about them.

Private Stuart Mackenzie, 28, appeared as a prosecution witness at a court martial where seven Queen's Lancashire Regiment soldiers are standing trial.

The hearing at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire, was told he gave the images to the Daily Mirror in May 2004.

The seven soldiers are charged in connection with alleged abuses in Iraq.

The fake photographs apparently showed QLR soldiers urinating on an Iraqi man and the court heard how they were subsequently printed around the world.

Their publication led to the sacking of the Mirror's former editor Piers Morgan, and, the court was told, caused "untold harm" to the British Army's "hearts and minds" effort in Iraq.

No answers

Pte Mackenzie was asked whether he was the soldier pictured urinating on the hooded "Iraqi" shown in the picture which appeared on the Mirror front page.

Pte Mackenzie asked the judge, Mr Justice McKinnon: "Do I have to answer that question?"

Mr McKinnon said he did not have to if he felt that by doing so he would be incriminating himself.

"In which case, I would refuse to answer that question," Pte Mackenzie said.

Pte Mackenzie was also asked by Julian Knowles, representing Corporal Donald Payne, 35, one of the seven QLR soldiers on trial, if he had agreed to sell the staged pictures to a Mirror reporter for 5,000.

"I do not wish to answer that," came the reply.

CHARGES IN FULL
Cpl Donald Payne - manslaughter, inhumane treatment of persons, perverting the course of justice
L/Cpl Wayne Crowcroft - inhumane treatment of persons
Pte Darren Fallon - inhumane treatment of persons
Sgt Kelvin Stacey - actual bodily harm, alternatively assault
Warrant Officer Mark Davies - negligently performing a duty
Maj Michael Peebles - negligently performing a duty
Col Jorge Mendonca - negligently performing a duty

Mr Knowles said Pte Mackenzie's colleagues from the QLR, to whom he was attached in the summer of 2003 in Basra, southern Iraq, had recognised him as being in the photographs because of distinctive moles on his forearms, his posture, and the way his shirt was tucked.

Pte Mackenzie did not answer but did confirm that he had faced a court martial relating to the Mirror. The case against him was later dropped.

The charges faced by the seven soldiers at the Military Court Centre also relate to the death of Baha Mousa, 26, in custody in Basra.

Mr Mousa, a hotel receptionist, was among a group of detainees arrested following a counter-insurgency operation in September 2003.

Alleged abuse

Cpl Payne has admitted inhumanely treating civilian detainees in southern Iraq but denies further charges of perverting the course of justice and manslaughter.

Payne's six co-defendants all deny the matters facing them.

Lance Cpl Wayne Crowcroft, 22, of the QLR, denies a charge of inhumane treatment, as does Pte Darren Fallon, 23, of the same regiment.

Sgt Kelvin Stacey, 29, of the QLR, denies assault occasioning actual bodily harm with an alternative count of common assault.

Major Michael Peebles, 35, and Warrant Officer Mark Davies, 37, both of the Intelligence Corps, each deny a charge of negligently performing a duty, that of failing to ensure the Iraqi detainees were not mistreated.

Colonel Jorge Mendonca MBE, 42, former commander of the QLR, also denies negligently performing a duty.




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