UK Investigators Drop Nearly 60 Unlawful Killing Cases During Iraq War

© AP Photo / Khalid Mohammed, FileBritish soldiers stand guard at Umm Qasr port in Basra, Iraq
British soldiers stand guard at Umm Qasr port in Basra, Iraq - Sputnik International
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Investigators pursuing allegations of British soldiers carrying out unlawful killings in the Iraq War in 2003-09 have dropped 58 cases, national media reported Sunday.

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LONDON (Sputnik) – The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) has found "no criminality established" in 57 cases, and a 58th case was dropped by the Ministry of Defense’s Service Prosecuting Authority, according to the Sun tabloid.

IHAT investigated around 280 alleged victims of unlawful killings by UK veterans as of late September. Over 1,200 Iraqi civilians allegedly fell victim to ill-treatment including rape, grievous bodily harm or ill-treatment that may meet the war crimes threshold.

The latest dismissals come two days after Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to protect veterans "from being hounded by lawyers over claims that are totally without foundation."

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Cameron tasked the National Security Council to "stamp out" law firms he labeled an "industry trying to profit from spurious claims."

IHAT was established by the UK Defense Ministry to probe allegations of abuse against Iraqis since the start of the invasion until the end of the Multi-National Force deployment to maintain security and train the local military.

A separate investigation into alleged British war crimes is underway at the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is looking at 1,200 cases, including 50 cases of unlawful killings of Iraqis in British custody.

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