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THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph
September 14 - 20 2011 No. 1051
:: SPORT PAGE 46
Archbishop set to step down early
Land grab Newplanning rules provoke public outcry :: NEWS P2 & P4
By Thomas Harding and John Bingham NINETEEN soldiers could face criminal charges for their role in the death of an innocent Iraqi man after a public inquiry found he was the victim of “appalling and cowardly” violence while in British custody.
Military and civilian prosecuting authorities are examining the findings of a three-year inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, a hotel receptionist who died after a 36-hour ordeal at the hands of British soldiers in Basra in September 2003. Nine other civilians were bound, hooded and subjected to “serious, gratuitous violence”.
The inquiry, chaired by Sir William Gage, a retired judge, found the Ministry of Defence guilty of a “corporate failure” to uphold basic standards by allowing rules to go “largely forgotten”.
While clearing the soldiers’ unit, the 1st Bn Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, of having an “entrenched culture of violence”, he said it was clear the abuses were not a one-off.
Dr Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, said the events described in the report were “deplorable, shocking and shameful” and instructed the head of the Army to take action against any serving personnel who were involved.
Three serving soldiers, including an officer, have already been suspended from duty as a result of the inquiry.
Dr Fox told the Commons: “Baha Mousa was not a casualty of war. His death occurred as a detainee in British custody – it was avoidable and preventable and there can be no excuses. There is no place in our Armed Forces for the mistreatment of detainees and there is no place for a perverted sense of loyalty that turns a blind eye to wrongdoing or erects a wall of silence to cover it up.”
The 1,400-page report details how the victims spent a day and a half with bags tied around their heads while being forced to stand in “stress positions” – practices banned under both domestic law and the Geneva Conventions.
Last Thursday the Chief of the General Staff, Gen Sir Peter Wall, said the incident “cast a dark shadow” over the reputation of the Army. Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the “truly shocking and appalling” abuse which he said should never be repeated.
The £13million inquiry singled out 19 soldiers whom it concluded were directly involved in the abuse, including some who have already faced unsuccessful prosecution at court martial.
Lawyers for families of the victims said there was potentially the evidence to bring new prosecutions against all of them in the civilian courts. It emerged last Thursday that three soldiers serving in the Army, including an officer, had been suspended from duties and MoD sources believed another 11 former servicemen could also face charges.
The suspended officer, Major Mike Peebles of the Intelligence Corps, would face a second court martial if Army prosecutors believed there was sufficient new evidence. He was originally acquitted of negligently performing a duty during a court martial in 2007 when he was among six soldiers to walk free after the
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Bishops have been arguing privately for Dr WIlliams to step down as Archbishop
THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury is planning to resign next year, almost a decade before he is due to step down, The Telegraph has learnt.
Dr Rowan Williams is understood to have told friends he is ready to quit the highest office in the Church of England to pursue a life in academia.
The news will prompt intense plotting behind the scenes over who should succeed the 61-year-old archbishop, who is not required to retire until he is 70. Bishops have been arguing privately for Dr Williams to stand down, with the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, telling clergy the archbishop should give someone else a chance after nearly 10 years in the post.
Lambeth Palace would not be drawn into confirming or denying whether the archbishop would leave next year. A spokesman said: “We would never comment on this matter.”
Sources close to the archbishop say he will leave after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next June and having seen the Church pass legislation to allow women to become bishops.
It is understood that a Cambridge college is preparing to create a professorship for Dr Williams, who studied theology and was a chaplain at the university. Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Family guy Wendi Murdoch reveals that Blair is godfather to her daughter :: NEWS P3
Somalia crisis 750,000 will die within months, says UN :: WORLD NEWS P16
‘Don’t kiss it better. I want you to refer me to a personal injury lawyer’ Referral fees from personal injury lawyers to be banned
Business, page 36