An anonymous whistleblower claims legal advisers alleged to have encouraged false abuse allegations against Western forces in Iraq urged claimants to target the British, who were seen as a “soft touch”.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) doled out around £20 million to insurgents, terrorists, and other individuals who claimed to have been abused by British military personnel.
Now, a whistleblower has come forward and told The Sun newspaper that many of the Iraqis that law firm Leigh Day helped lodge complaints were, in fact, claiming alleged abuse from U.S. forces – but were advised to accuse the British because they were a “soft touch”.
“I was personally responsible for collecting the documents from the people and I found many were not detained by British forces. Many had documents referring to the American forces at that time, especially at Um Qasar jail – Camp Bucca. But they cannot sue them, so they say, ‘OK, let’s make it the British’.”
The whistleblower claimed lawyers “knew they were fake claims” but advanced them regardless.
“Everybody knows, believe me, everybody knows. Clients were urged to hide any stories concerning involvement of others. It was easy to cheat the MoD with random papers. It was all about the British.
“I was very surprised when I saw people with American papers but they were suing the British.”
“It was easy money, like taking a piece of cake,” he added. “Every one of us were looking at the British treasure.”
The source explained that many of the claims had “[depended] on exaggeration of what happened.”
For example, “if someone got a slap on the face, we made it a gun. He has been hit on his face by a gun or a wooden stick.
“We depend on exaggeration. We want to make it as much of a tragedy as much as possible to obtain more money from the British. It was very easy.”
Leigh Day solicitors Martyn Day, Sapna Malik, and Anna Crowther were cleared of 19 misconduct charges at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in a record seven-weak hearing connected to their work with disgraced “tank-chasing” lawyer Phil Shiner, who was struck off after making over 200 bogus claims against British servicemen on behalf of insurgents and terrorists in Iraq.
The Ministry of Defence was reported to have been “disappointed” by the tribunal’s decision, whilst veterans groups were “disgusted”.