Three British soldiers accused of abuse in Iraq have appeared at a British court martial in Germany, where their regiment is based. The charges relate to one incident near Basra and, unlike the Abu Ghraib scandal, there have been no allegations of systematic abuse. Lance corporals Darren Larkin and Mark Cooley, and Corporal Daniel Kenyon all pleaded not guilty to numerous counts of abuse. But Larkin admitted one charge of assaulting an Iraqi man.
Among the pictures released is one that appears to show a soldier standing on a naked prisoner. The charges include disgraceful conduct and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline. “We condemn utterly all acts of abuse. Where there’s evidence of abuse this is immediately investigated,” said the head of the British army, General Sir Mike Jackson.
The offences are alleged to have taken place at an aid camp in May 2003, weeks after coalition troops had ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The court martial comes just days after a U.S. soldier, Specialist Charles Graner, was sentenced to 10 years in jail after he was found guilty of abusing inmates at Abu Ghraib prison.