Our work involves investigating evidence in order to make findings about the circumstances in which a death has occurred. The IFI are not concerned with determining criminal or civil liability.
The IFI are therefore to be distinguished from investigations, whether by the police or by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), which are taken to determine whether or not criminal conduct is involved. We are entirely separate from the IHAT, with entirely different functions.
The chair (‘Inspector’) of the IFI is Sir George Newman.
At the end of an inquiry, the Inspector produces a report in which he sets out his findings. The report satisfies two objectives:
1) Providing a narrative account of the immediate circumstances in which the death occurred; and
2) An examination of the wider circumstances in which the death occurred and any lessons which should be learned.
The pistol that Captain Hassan was carrying at the
time he was shot on the 17th December 2004 and which was seized as evidence by
the Royal Military Police (RMP), and retained by them since 2004, was recently
located by the IFI. After much liaison and communication between various
individuals responsible for the retention and transportation of this item from
the UK to Iraq, it has now has been returned to its rightful owners,
namely the Iraqi Police Service (IPS) in Basra. Its return should enable
Captain Hassan's widow to receive pension entitlements from the IPS which she
has hitherto been prevented from receiving on the ground that the pistol had
not been returned to the Basra police.
A seventh case has now been referred to the IFI. On 11 April 2003, Coalition Forces detained an Iraqi man named as Tariq Sabri Mahmud (‘Mr Mahmud’, referred to elsewhere as Taniq Sabri Mahmud and Tarik Sabri Mahmud) and a number of other Iraqi nationals as prisoners of war at a checkpoint in Western Iraq. They were taken to a temporary holding facility, from where they were transported on UK helicopters to a US-controlled detention facility. Upon arrival at that facility, Mr Mahmud was pronounced dead. The time and cause of death remain unclear. Although a US investigation at the time found no evidence of any unlawful act, it was subsequently alleged that he had been unlawfully killed. The letter appointing Sir George as Inspector of the investigation and the Terms of Reference can be accessed here. Further documents and evidence will be available from the website in due course.
Please note that the exact name of the deceased is currently uncertain. Confirmation of the deceased’s name will be posted in due course.
Captain Abdul Hussan Taleb
The Inspector found that on 17 December 2004 Capt Hassan was fatally shot by a UK forces patrol who, perceiving it to present an imminent threat to their lives, fired a number of rounds into his vehicle in accordance with the Rules of Engagement. The Inspector concluded that whilst some of the soldiers perceived Capt Hassan to be holding a gun, he did not take out his pistol at any time during the incident. The full report can be read here.
Ali Salam Naser
The Inspector’s report into the death of Mr Naser concluded that he was shot in the head by a single bullet in the Hay Al Muhandiseen neighbourhood of Basra at around 3.30pm on 10 April 2007. At the time UK Forces were engaged in a large-scale counter-insurgency operation resulting in intense fighting. However, the Inspector found that it is not possible to determine by whom Mr Naser was shot. The full report can be read here.
Ahmed Jabbar Kareem Ali
The Inspector concluded in Part 1 of his report into the death of Mr Ahmed Ali that, having been detained by members of the British Forces in Iraq for looting, and while still in their custody, Mr Ali drowned in the Shatt al Basra canal on 8 May 2003. The soldiers had forced Mr Ali into the water and failed to go to his assistance when he floundered, thereby causing his death.
Part 2 of the Inspector’s report will examine the wider circumstances surrounding Mr Ali’s death, including the cases any other Iraqis who allegedly died in similar circumstances. It will include consideration of the extent to which any practice of placing looters into water as a deterrent or punishment was known about and/or sanctioned by the military chain of command. Part 2 of the report will be published on our reports page in due course.
Muhammad Abdul Ridha Salim
The report into the death of Mr Salim concluded that he died on as a result of being shot by a British soldier during a search and arrest operation on 6 November 2003 which had targeted the house of Mr Salim’s brother-in-law, Mohammed Zuboon, in response to false information provided to British Forces by a member of a tribe involved in a dispute with Mr Zuboon. The false information was to the effect that members of Mr Zuboon’s household were heavily armed and preparing an attack on a nearby British Army base, Camp Cherokee. When the British Forces forced entry into the house, Mr Salim and Mr Zuboon’s nephew were armed in preparation for a second assault on their home by the rival tribe. Mr Salim was shot by a soldier who fired in self-defence, believing Mr Salim to present athreat to the life of himself and his colleagues. The full report can be accessed here.
The Inspector's report into the death of Mr Abdullah concluded that he died from a blow or blows to the left side of his head inflicted by one or more British soldiers on 11 May 2003. The soldiers had stopped the vehicle he was travelling in after it had failed to stop at a vehicle checkpoint. The full report can be read here.
The Inspector found that Mr Said died as a result of a gunshot wound sustained on 2 August 2003 following a struggle in which two British soldiers were attempting to restrain him. During the struggle, one of the soldiers believed that Mr Said was attempting to lay hands on both his own rifle and his colleague's pistol, and he therefore shot at Mr Said. The full report can be read here.