UK's 1st convicted war criminal sentenced 1 year

April 30, 2007 22:24

Britain's first convicted war criminal was dismissed by the army and sentenced to a year in prison Monday in connection with the death of an Iraqi hotel worker. Corp. Donald Payne was sentenced by a military court, Bulford Camp in southwest England, after pleading guilty to inhumanely treating Iraqi civilians in southern Basra in 2003. He had been cleared earlier of manslaughter charges and perverting justice. Baha Mousa was among nine Iraqi detainees taken into custody as alleged insurgents. The court heard they were held in stress positions and deprived of sleep for about two days in extreme heat at a British army barracks in September 2003. Mousa, a 26-year-old hotel receptionist, died after he was restrained by soldiers following an attempt to escape. A pathologist told the court Mousa had died from asphyxia, caused by a stress position soldiers forced him to maintain. The eight other detainees were released without charge.

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