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UK judge dropped Iraq detainee abuse charges because tactics OKed

[JURIST] A British judge said Monday that he dropped prisoner abuse charges [JURIST report] against the most senior British military officer charged with abusing detainees last week because his superiors approved some of the techniques. A British Army major testified in November 2006 that a military legal adviser approved techniques for preparing Iraqi detainees [JURIST report] for interrogation that allegedly violated the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials]. Judge Stuart McKinnon dropped charges against five British soldiers last month while continuing charges against two British co-defendants in their ongoing court-martial.

The charges stem from a 2003 raid on a hotel in Basra in which British military confiscated weapons and explosives contraband, and detained several Iraqi civilians, including hotel receptionist Baha Mousa [BBC report; JURIST report], who died while in custody. The soldiers allegedly took the Iraqis to a detention facility where they were held for 36 hours and subjected to physical abuse, causing Mousa's death, according to prosecutors. Reuters has more.

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