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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 November 2005, 13:04 GMT
Cleared Para 'betrayed' by Army
Military courtroom in Colchester
Critics say there was no case to answer by the defendants
A paratrooper cleared of murdering an Iraqi civilian has said he feels betrayed by the Army.

Corporal Scott Evans, 32, from Birmingham told the Daily Mail he had been "hung out to dry" by his regiment.

He was one of seven UK soldiers cleared of killing Nadhem Abdullah at a court martial on Thursday.

Cpl Evans, a father-of-two, has now handed in his notice and is to move back home. The Ministry of Defence said he was entitled to his views.

Judge Blackett ruled there was insufficient evidence against Cpl Evans and the six other Parachute Regiment soldiers.

[The Army] betrayed us. I think they could have done things a lot better
Cpl Scott Evans

Mr Abdullah, 18, was alleged to have died following an attack on Iraqi civilians in al-Ferkah, southern Iraq, in May 2003.

"When [we were told] we were not guilty, my eyes filled up. If I wasn't a man, I probably would have cried," Cpl Evans said.

He claims he and his family were offered no support from the Army after he was charged with murder in July last year.

"We've been badly hung out to dry. The Army is your family, isn't it? You expect your family to look after you through thick and thin," he said.

'Evidence tested'

"But they betrayed us. I think they could have done things a lot better. It seems that in the Army's eyes you are guilty until proven innocent."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said Cpl Evans was entitled to his views.

"We agreed with the judge that the evidence needed to be presented and tested," he said.

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