"Let me make it clear that it was important to retrieve those two soldiers.The British Army looks after its own.” (General Sir Michael Jackson, Chief of the General Staff ,Basra S. Iraq quoted in the Times, 12 Oct 2005)
After spending £20 Mn the British Army has decided that the Commanding Officer of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment , Lt Col Mendonca (43) and 4 other members of the Regiment should be acquitted today, They were charged in relation to the detention of nine Iraqi civilians who had been arrested in September 2003 at Hotel Haitham in Basra during an arms raid when AK47 rifles were found. The Iraqis were beaten up over 36 hours, and Baha Musa, 26, died.
The judge ruled there was no case to answer against Colonel Mendonca, who had been charged with negligence for failing to ensure that the nine Iraqis detained and held at the QLR temporary detention centre in Basra in September 2003 were not ill treated ... even though they were held for 36 hours and Baha Musa when he died had 93 identifiable wounds on his body.
The Daily Torygraph print Col Mendonca' DSO citation in full today (15th February)..."His outstanding leadership, personal courage and incredible successes are worthy of national recognition."