Home Muslim World News UK pays record Pnds 2 million compensation to wounded Iraqi boy

UK pays record Pnds 2 million compensation to wounded Iraqi boy


London : The British government is to pay a record Pnds 2 million (Dlrs 4 m) to an Iraqi teenager left paralysed when he was accidentally shot by a UK soldier, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in London confirmed Tuesday.

The schoolboy, who has not been named, was 13 when he suffered severe spinal injuries following the accident in a camp in Basra in September 2003. Now aged 17, he still needs round-the-clock care from specialist doctors in the UK.

The settlement is the highest the MoD has paid to an individual and is far higher than anything awarded to British troops injured in Iraq.

It compares with the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme offering a maximum lump sum payment of Pnds 285,000 and a lifetime income.

The amount of payment is expected to be finalised by the high court within weeks following more than four years of civil action in the UK.

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable said other Iraqis may now try to take action through the courts in the UK, but the MoD rejected comparisons to the scheme and said it was a one-off incident.

“This is an isolated claim for negligence from a young boy who will require specialist care for the rest of his life,” said a MoD spokesman.

“It is the highest ever paid out because of the height of the negligence involved. It is not a precedent, it is an exceptional case.

It is not expected that there are any other cases of such severity,” the spokesman said.

The teenager was reported wounded in a British camp in Basra when a soldier accidentally dropped his rifle, causing the weapon to discharge. The injured boy was flown to the UK for treatment and is not expected to be able to ever return to Iraq.