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Iraq detainees to get £2.8m settlement from UK Defence Ministry

[JURIST] The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) [official website] reached a settlement Thursday with nine Iraqi men who say they were tortured while detained by British troops [JURIST report] in Basra in 2003. A MOD spokesman said the military had agreed to pay £2.83 million in compensation, as well as issue an apology and an admission of liability. The family of Baha Mousa [BBC report; JURIST news archive], a tenth man who died in custody, was also included in the settlement. Seven soldiers faced court-martial [BBC timeline] in connection with Mousa's death. BBC News has more. The Guardian has additional coverage.

Of the seven soldiers charged, only one, Corporal David Payne, faced jail time after pleading guilty [JURIST reports] to a charge of inhumane treatment. All other charges were dismissed [JURIST report]. In August 2007, lawyers for the Iraqi plaintiffs accused the Ministry of Defence of withholding evidence [JURIST report]. In March, UK Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne [official profile] admitted that British soldiers had violated the human rights [JURIST report] of the Basra detainees, saying that the MOD would specifically admit to substantive breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text].

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