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  1. ITV Report

New Baha Mousa investigation aims to 'bring those responsible to justice'

Undated photo of Baha Mousa, his wife and two children, Baha Mousa died in UK custody. Photo: PA

A new team of investigators looking into the death of a hotel receptionist who was interrogated and abused by British soliders has told Granada Reports it is pursuing 'new lines of inquiry' which aim 'to bring those responsible to justice'.

Donald Payne of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment is the only British solidier to be convicted of found of inhuman treatment of Baha Mousa, who was working at Basra's Ibn Al Haitham hotel in September 2003 when it was raided by British forces.

Several other colleagues from the Lancashire regiment went on trial for the mistreatment of the twenty-six year old, but were acquitted due to a lack of evidence.

A still taken from video of a British soldier screaming at hooded Iraqi detainees played to the public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa Credit: PA
Daoud Mousa holds pictures of his grandchildren. He alleges that his son Baha died whilst in the custody of British soldiers Credit: PA

The case is now the subject of a fresh investigation by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), set up to examine allegations British troops ill-treated and murdered Iraqi citizens.

In September 2011 a public inquiry led by Sir William Gage found Mr Mousa died after suffering "an appalling episode of serious gratuitous violence" which represented a "very serious breach of discipline" by members of 1st Battalion the Queen's Lancashire Regiment (1QLR).

An IHAT spokesperson today told me that there 'still remain questions over who was responsible' despite Mr Payne's conviction. They added that based on the evidence heard at the previous public inquiry, it is pursuing new evidence which they hope will 'bring those responsible to justice'.

Baha Mousa and several colleagues were taken to the British military base at Darul Dhyafa in 2003, where Mr Mousa died whilst he was in custody.

He had suffered 93 separate injuries while he was detained, including fractured ribs and a broken nose.

Chairman of the Baha Mousa inquiry Sir William Gage at Finlaison House where the inquest into the Iraqi civilian's death in British custody Credit: PA

Donald Payne was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, reduced to the ranks, and dismissed from Her Majesty's Armed Forces, in April 2007.

Head of IHAT Mark Warwick said: "The death of Baha Mousa and the serious abuse against his fellow detainees shocked people across the world and the subsequent investigations and inquiries sought to establish what happened and who was responsible.

"Building on the work of these earlier inquiries, IHAT's initial assessment has identified a number of lines of inquiry which we believe warrant further attention and to which a dedicated team of investigators will be assigned.

"We realise that the news of another investigation so long after the event will be difficult for the victims, their families and the soldiers concerned. I would like to offer reassurance that both IHAT and the SPA will do all we can to ensure the investigation proceeds quickly and efficiently."

The Ministry of Defence agreed in July 2008 to pay £2.83 million in compensation to the families of Mr Mousa and nine other Iraqi men abused by British soldiers.