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The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) is an investigation conducted by the Ministry of Defence into allegations of abuse and torture by British service personnel in Iraq.[1] Much of these have focused on three interrogation sites near Basra operated by the Joint Forward Interrogation Team (JFIT) between March 2003 and December 2008.[2][3] The inquiry was established in November 2010[4] after 146 Iraqi men claimed to have been tortured.[5]

The team is led by a former head of Staffordshire CID and is made up of both military and ex-civilian police detectives[6] and in November 2011 numbered 86 staff.[7] In January 2013 it was reported that G4S subsidiary G4S Policing Solutions had lost its contract to provide 40 former police officers for the inquiry, and will be replaced by Police Skills, a subsidiary of Red Snapper Group, who will provide 100 former detectives.[8]

In a judicial review the Court of Appeal ruled in November 2011 that the involvement of the General Police Duties branch of the Royal Military Police (RMP) "substantially compromised" the inquiry because members of the unit had participated in detentions in Iraq.[7] The armed forces minister, Nick Harvey, responded by announcing in March 2012 that that the RMP staff would be reassigned and replaced by Royal Navy Police personnel by 1 April 2012.[5][6][9] However, Louise Thomas, a former member of the inquiry team, has described IHAT as a "whitewash" and claimed that six RMP staff continued to work for it until May 2012.[5] The Ministry of Defence announced in October 2012 that they will investigate her claims.[3][10]

Lawyers representing people alleging that they have been tortured applied for another judicial review in May 2012 to examine the claim that the Royal Navy Police are not sufficiently independent since they also took part in interrogations,[11] and that abuses were so systemic and widespread that only a public inquiry will satisfy the UK's human rights obligations.[12] The case started on 29 January 2013 and is expected to last three days.[12][13]


  1. "Head of Iraq Historical Allegations Team job specification". The Sunday Times appointments. 22 Jun 2010. 
  2. "Iraq abuse inquiry little more than a whitewash, says official". The Guardian. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bowcott, Owen (11 December 2012). "Iraq abuse inquiry was a 'cover-up', whistleblower tells court". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  4. "Iraq Historic Allegations Team starts work". Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom). 1 November 2010. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Cobain, Ian (12 October 2012). "Inquiry into British abuse of Iraqi prisoners faces fresh allegations". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Cobain, Ian; Norton-Taylor, Richard (26 March 2012). "Royal Military Police removed from Iraq prisoner abuse inquiry". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 22 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  8. Monaghan, Angela; Barrett, David (13 January 2013). "G4S agrees deal over fiasco at Olympics". The Daily Telegraph. 
  9. "Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights Action Plan Al Skeini (application no. 55721/07) Information submitted by the United Kingdom Government". [Council of Europe. 30 March 2012. 
  10. "MoD investigate claims of Iraq abuse inquiry 'whitewash'". The Telegraph. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  11. "MOD's ‘Iraq Historic Allegations Team’ to face further legal challenge". Public Interest Lawyers. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Ali Zaki Mousa (no.2) and Others v Secretary of State for Defence". Public Interest Lawyers. 18 January 2013. 
  13. "Iraqis claim British troops 'acted with brutality'". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 

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