Friday, April 08, 2005

Judge, Army Thwart Blair

Blair's government has indicted its combat soldiers at a much higher rate than the US has. Now the Brits are fighting back.

The first British soldier accused of murder in post-war Iraq left court yesterday with "his honour intact and his head held high".

The trial concerned the shooting of an Iraqi lawyer who was part of a group moving the heavy ammunition used to make IEDs.

In November 2003 Lt Col Charlie Barnett of the Army Legal Service advised that there was no prima facie case that would justify referral to a higher authority.

Wrong Answer. So Blair's
crony got involved.

The case was passed to the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, who decided that a prosecution should be brought in the ordinary courts, rather than under military law.

The CPS (Public Prosecutors) abandoned the case after the judge, Mrs Justice Hallett, said that a potential juror might well decide that Trooper Williams had "acted reasonably in the heat of the moment".

...she accepted that "many people genuinely believe that this prosecution of Trooper Williams is a betrayal of soldiers who risk their lives for their country and who are expected to make difficult decisions in split seconds".

Trooper Williams is a member of the
famous 2nd Royal tank Regiment.

The soldier, flanked in court by senior officers and old comrades, including a Chelsea Pensioner (
veteran) in dress uniform, posed for photographs but made no comment.

So, Brit judges can show judgment. And their army has units like 2nd RTR that stand by their men, as well as ones like 1 Bn Royal Regiment of Fusiliers that
don't. Brits value their armed forces, but have a government that doesn't.