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Iraqis in public inquiry action

Iraqis in public inquiry action

A group of more than 100 Iraqi civilians which claims it suffered torture and inhuman treatment at the hands of British soldiers and interrogators are taking their battle for a public inquiry to the High Court.

More than 140 Iraqis allege they suffered the ill treatment between March 2003 and December 2008 in British-controlled detention facilities in the country after Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox has refused to order a public inquiry into the allegations and lawyers acting for the group are challenging his decision, saying a probe is needed "to bring the full facts to light".

Lead claimant Ali Zaki Mousa, from Basra, alleges he suffered months of beatings and other abuse in the custody of British soldiers in 2006/07. Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Silber will hear the application for judicial review over three days.

It comes in the wake of the Baha Mousa Inquiry, which is due to report in early 2011 and a second inquiry – the Al Sweady Inquiry – is due to start hearing evidence next year. But Ali Mousa's solicitors will seek to persuade the High Court there must now be a single inquiry into the UK's detention policy in south-east Iraq.

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