UK investigator brands Iraq abuse inquiry 'whitewash'

A former investigator with the inquiry into claims that British troops abused Iraqi prisoners believes that the probe has turned into "little more than a whitewash," the Guardian reported Friday.

Former Royal Navy Wren and police officer Louise Thomas quit the the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) after six months in frustration at the apparent lack of concern shown by colleagues.

She told the newspaper that she had seen around 1,600 videos showing prisoners being abused during interrogation sessions.

"I saw a really dark side of the British Army," she said.

"The videos showed really quite terrible abuses. But some of the IHAT investigators just weren't interested."

Thomas, 45, accused some investigators of saying "who cares, they're terrorists" when watching the videos and said she was called "Miss Marple" due to her apparent concern.

British armed forces are accused of systemic abuse of detainees between March 2003 and December 2008 when they controlled the Basra area in southern Iraq following the 2003 invasion.

"All of these allegations of abuse are known to the Ministry of Defence and Iraq Historical Allegations Team, which is why the independent IHAT is already investigating them," said a Ministry of Defence spokesman.

"We are confident in the IHAT's abilities and following the outcome of their investigations, action will be considered against individuals where appropriate."


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