War Crimes and Innocence in Iraq

Following the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003 British troops in Basra were confronted with a chaotic situation as looting and rioting took hold of the city and society collapsed. As the British soldiers attempted to deal with this situation, for which they were neither trained nor equipped, a young Iraqi man drowned in one of the many canals found in southern Iraq. 

Joe McCleary and three other soldiers were accused of war crimes relating to the death of the young Iraqi man and subsequently arrested. After years of struggle and four different investigations, they were found innocent of all charges. In this episode, we'll be speaking to Will Yates, author of War Trials which tells the story of the men involved. We'll also hear from Joe McCleary about his experiences and the damage done to his mental health, prospects and family by the investigations following that tragic day in Iraq.

A group of service personnel and veterans falsely accused of war crimes in Iraq are currently crowdfunding to bring legal action against the Ministry of Defence. More information and the opportunity to donate to their campaign can be found here.


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