Top U.K. Defense Officials Accused of War Crimes

International Criminal Court receives huge dossier of allegations relating to British conduct during war in Iraq

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Hazir Reka / Reuters

Head of British Army General Sir Peter Wall, one of the notable defense figures implicated in the ICC complaint, is seen during his visit in Pristina March 3, 2011.

Top U.K. defense figures could face prosecution for war crimes in Iraq, after the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague was presented with a dossier on Saturday containing thousands of allegations of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

The complaint is the result of several years’ investigation by Public Interest Lawyers and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights. It is the largest presentation yet of alleged British war crimes in Iraq, and names, among others, the head of the British Army, the former defense minister and former defense secretary.

“What this application does is throw down the challenge to the court to show there are no double standards,” Professor William Schabas at Middlesex University told the Independent.

The ICC has been criticized for not dealing with war crimes involving Western nations.

U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Sunday that there was no need to investigate the allegations, since they were “under investigation already or have been dealt with already in a variety of ways.”