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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Iraqis make torture damages claim
High Court
Lawyers are seeking six-figure sums for each Iraqi
Nine Iraqis are seeking damages in the High Court over claims they were tortured while in British custody in Basra in 2003.

Lawyer Sapna Malik said their accounts described a catalogue of vicious beatings, sexual humiliation and abuse.

She said they were demanding six-figure sums from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for aggravated and exemplary damages.

The MoD said a standard review of the case was under way and compensation was always paid when legally required.

The group of Iraqi men were arrested at a hotel where weapons and suspected bomb-making equipment were found in 2003.

Court martial

Earlier this year, Cpl Donald Payne was jailed for a year and dismissed from the army after he admitted treating the detainees inhumanely.

Another six soldiers were acquitted of negligence and abuse.

During the case, the prosecution said the detainees were forced to stand in a painful posture while undergoing so-called conditioning for interrogation.

If they failed to maintain the position - with arms outstretched and knees bent - they were beaten, the court was told.

Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we do so
MoD spokesman

Accounts of the treatment of another Iraqi, Baha Mousa who died while in custody, were lodged earlier this month.

The hotel receptionist was found with 93 separate injuries to his body.

In June, Law Lords ruled that UK human rights laws did apply to a civilian who died in British custody in Iraq.

A spokesman for the MoD said: "When compensation claims are submitted, they are considered on the basis of whether or not the Ministry of Defence has a legal liability to pay compensation. Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we do so.

"The Royal Military Police, with the Army Prosecuting Authority, are conducting a review of the criminal investigation in accordance with standard investigations practice."

SEE ALSO
Iraq detainees 'treated humanely'
29 May 07 |  UK Politics

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