Tory MP furious at Afghanistan 'war crimes' investigations

Posted On: 
22nd September 2016

More than 500 allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan are being probed by a special police unit set up by the Ministry of Defence.

The number of investigations into military personell in Iraq and Afghanistan totals 2,200
PA Images

One allegation concerns a Taliban bombmaker who argues his 106 day detention was illegal, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Criminal investigations into soldiers have so far focussed on incidents in Iraq, but now 550 cases from Afghanistan will be scrutinised.

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It brings the number of claims under investigation in both countries to 2,200.

Tory MP Johnny Mercer, who served in Helmand province in Afghanistan, told the paper: “I cannot envisage a more scrutinised battlefield we have asked our soldiers to operate on than Afghanistan. Soldiers were killed in efforts to reduce risks to civilians.

“That we are now prosecuting these same soldiers who we were asking to fire only when fired upon, to use the most minimal force necessary to preserve life, to bear huge personal risk of violent death and injury whilst fighting a violent insurgency on the Governments behalf, is physically painful to watch yet alone be part of.”  

A spokesman for the MoD said: “Our Armed Forces are rightly held to the highest standards and, whilst rare, where there are credible claims of criminal behaviour, we should investigate them.

“An independent investigation is the best way to make sure that innocent personnel are not dragged through the courts without cause – none of the Op Northmoor allegations investigated have so far been referred to the Service Prosecuting Authority.”