- 12 updates
A public inquiry has begun into claims that British soldiers tortured and killed Iraqis after a battle in southern Iraq in 2004.
Today, the Al-Sweady inquiry were shown graphic images of bodies being taken to a local hospital.
ITV News' Special Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports.
The graphic footage showed body bags being carried into a local hospital and doctors pointing to some alleged signs of torture.
In an opening statement today, counsel to the inquiry Jonathan Acton Davis QC said it aims to identify the circumstances of the deaths of 28 Iraqi men.
He said enemy dead would normally have been left on the battlefield, but British soldiers were apparently given an order to identify the dead to try to find a man thought to be involved in the murder of six British soldiers in 2003.
As part of that order, the bodies of 20 Iraqis were taken back to CAN, and nine were detained, he said.
A long-awaited public inquiry into claims that British soldiers mistreated and murdered Iraqi detainees during the Iraq War has opened.
The Al-Sweady Inquiry is examining claims that UK soldiers murdered and tortured Iraqis after the "Battle of Danny Boy" in Maysan Province, southern Iraq, in May 2004.
It will look at allegations that Iraqis were unlawfully killed at Camp Abu Naji (CAN) on May 14 and 15 2004 and that five Iraqi detainees were tortured and ill-treated at CAN, and again between May 14 and September 23 2004, at a detention facility at Shaibah Logistics Base.
ITV News' Neil Connery reports:
Patrick Mercer, Conservative MP for Newark, said he "did not expect very much at all" to come out of a long-awaited inquiry into claims that British troops murdered and tortured civilians during the Iraq War.
The counsel tells the Al-Sweady Inquiry in an opening statement that the claimants, military and public are entitled to an independent and effective investigation.
Patrick Mercer MP has told Daybreak that the conclusions from the al-Sweady inquiry will "not be satisfactory."
He said the families "need to know the truth", but explained that both sides of the argument were "completely polarised".
Today an inquiry into the deaths of 20 or more Iraqis will begin, expected to last until 2014.
It is alleged that UK soldiers killed unarmed civilians and tortured detainees.
John Dickinson, one of the lawyers representing the Iraqis in the al-Sweady case, said the inquiry has taken so long to set up, because it was "vigorously opposed" by the MOD.
More than three years after it was ordered, the inquiry will examine claims that UK soldiers murdered 20 or more Iraqis, and tortured detainees in Maysan Province, southern Iraq, in May 2004.
During the opening of the al-Sweady public inquiry, Jonathan Acton Davis QC is expected to deliver a a comprehensive outline, including why the inquiry was ordered and what it aims to identify.
The inquiry will also look at, an original Royal Military Police investigation into what happened.
Since 2009, the database compiled by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team has ben searched for any relevant material.
According to inquiry secretary Cecilia French, hundreds will give evidence, in person, over video link or by witness statement, at the al-Sweady public inquiry.
- Fifteen Iraqis will travel to the UK to give evidence at the al-Sweady public inquiry
- A further 45 Iraqis, including relatives, medical staff, and others who had contact with those who died, will give evidence via videolink
- Statements were taken from nearly 90 Iraqi witnesses, all in either Beirut or Istanbul
- Evidence from military witnesses will start in September, through to February next year, it could be more than 200 people going evidence
- Statements from around 400 military witnesses have been taken
It is thought the inquiry will have finished its report by the end of 2014.