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Britain halts trial of soldiers accused of abusing Iraqi civilians

[JURIST] A UK government spokesman announced Thursday that the court-martial [JURIST report] of three British soldiers accused of abusing Iraqi civilians has been "halted" at the request of the defense. The soldiers, from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers [official website], are accused of using civilians to simulate sex and violence. The case is similar to one involving the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib [JURIST Hot Topic]. Photos [BBC News selection] of the various acts were published earlier this week after they were presented in court. Review the charges against the three soldiers [BBC News summary] and read the British Army chief's response to the photographs [UK Ministry of Defense statement; also issued in Arabic]. Reuters has more.

10:35 AM ET - Prior to the halt, presiding judge advocate Michael Hunter asked that no more public statements be made on the case that could prejudice the trial of the officers; UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith has also written to British newspapers requesting that they not publish any material of a prejudicial nature. BBC News has more.

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