U.K. to Cooperate With International Court's Iraq Probe

The U.K. said it will cooperate with an examination by the International Criminal Court of allegations of abuse by British soldiers in Iraq.

Britain rejects allegations that there was “systematic” abuse of detainees carried out by its forces and is investigating incidents in which its soldiers broke the law, Attorney General Dominic Grieve said in an e-mailed statement.

“British troops are some of the best in the world and we expect them to operate to the highest standards, in line with both domestic and international law,” Grieve said today. “In my experience the vast majority of our armed forces meet those expectations. Where allegations have been made that individuals may have broken those laws, they are being comprehensively investigated.”

Fatou Bensouda, the court prosecutor, said today that a preliminary examination of the allegations against the U.K. will be reopened. Her decision, looking at whether a full investigation is warranted, follows the submission of a dossier to the Hague-based tribunal in January by human-rights activists and lawyers, her office said in a statement on its website.

“As the minister responsible for overseeing the U.K.’s prosecutors, I understand the importance of the ICC prosecutor following the proper legal procedures when complaints are made,” Grieve said. “The U.K. government has been, and remains, a strong supporter of the ICC and I will provide the office of the prosecutor with whatever is necessary to demonstrate that British justice is following its proper course.”

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