We tortured Iraqi prisoners to avenge our troops' killing, says convicted British soldier

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London, Nov. 17 (ANI): A former corporal in the British Army, who is accused of the brutal beating and torture of Iraqi prisoners, has said that he acted out of revenge over the killing of four UK soldiers.

Donald Payne, 35, told a public inquiry that he tortured Iraqis to avenge the murder of three Royal Military Policemen and the killing of an Army captain who had been blown up while delivering humanitarian aid to southern Iraq.

Payne, who has already been convicted of the inhumane treatment of Iraqis, revealed that he and other soldiers had routinely kicked and punched nine Iraqi detainees captured in September 2003.

One of them, Baha Mousa, died from asphyxiation and 93 separate injuries.

The new allegations raise concerns about the widespread abuse of dozens of Iraqi detainees and come days after the Ministry of Defence said it was investigating 33 other separate cases of torture carried out by British soldiers in Iraq.

Payne also claims an officer, Lt Craig Rodgers, subjected one of the detainees to a mock execution by forcing him to the ground and pouring liquid over him so that he believed he was to be set on fire.

In a separate incident, Payne saw his commanding officer, Lt-Col Jorge Mendonca, interrogate a captured Iraqi by placing a cocked pistol above the man's mouth before telling him he intended to "blow his face off".

Lawyers representing the family of Baha Mousa called said: "At long last Donald Payne has decided to tell the truth. Nobody faced charges for murder or torture in the hopelessly flawed military prosecution and all those responsible should now be charged with murder." (ANI)

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