International Criminal Court may investigate UK 'war crimes cover-up'

British Special Forces have been accused of covering up the killings of four young Afghans in 2012

The International Criminal Court could open its first investigation into the British military following a BBC programme about alleged war crimes.

Panorama found evidence the state had covered up killings of civilians by UK troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The ICC said it took the findings very seriously. The MoD has said the allegations are unsubstantiated.

The MoD said it had co-operated fully with the ICC and saw no justification for further interventions by the court.

Public inquiry

A formal investigation by the ICC, based in The Hague in the Netherlands, would be the first time it has taken action against any UK nationals for war crimes.

The ICC’s Office of Prosecutor said it would “independently assess” the findings of Panorama, which could be “highly relevant” to their decision whether to open a landmark investigation into the UK.

The court has previously concluded there is credible evidence that British troops committed war crimes in Iraq.

Most of those cases involve allegations of the mistreatment of detainees.

The best known is that of Baha Mousa, a hotel worker in Basra who died after being tortured and beaten by British troops in 2003. It led to a public inquiry and the only conviction of a British soldier for war crimes in Iraq.

However, Panorama,…

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