US wanted tougher UK interrogation in Iraq, inquiry told


London : The US wanted British forces to adopt tougher interrogation techniques in Iraq even though they were already using methods officially banned by the government, the UK’s most senior military intelligence officer in Iraq has suggested.

Support TwoCircles

Lieutenant Colonel Ewan Duncan said he warned that the US was expressing concern about the ineffectiveness of British interrogation methods just as an Iraqi civilian died in British custody.

His warning of American concern about Britain’s “milder” interrogation methods was made in an email on 17 September 2003, the day after the death of Baha Mousa, the inquiry into the killing was told Tuesday.

The US was concerned that “UK interrogation was not producing results in Iraq”, Duncan said.

“There was an ongoing issue in relation to views expressed by the US military and civilian intelligence community that the UK intelligence elements were not obtaining enough information and intelligence from prisoners held by UK forces,” he said.

The inquiry, which opened last year, has already heard that hooding and other prisoner-handling methods that were supposed to be banned continued to be used by UK troops in Iraq.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has admitted to “substantial breaches” of the European Human Rights Convention over the killing of Mousa and has agreed to pay a record £2.83 million ($4.3 m) in compensation to his family and nine other men detained at the time.

The 26-year old hotel receptionist died from multiple injuries while in British custody in Basra. A post-mortem examination showed he had at least 93 injuries.