2 British soldiers convicted of abusing Iraqis

A military court has found two British soldiers guilty of abusing Iraqi civilian detainees two years ago.

A military court has found two British soldiers guilty of physically abusing Iraqi civilian detainees two years ago.

After a five-week court martial, the panel of seven senior officers convicted Lance-Cpl. Mark Cooley, 25, of pretending to punch one prisoner and of tying up another man and hoisting him on a forklift.

Cpl. Daniel Kenyon was convicted of aiding and abetting the abuse and failing to report it.

Lance-Cpl. Darren Larkin, 30, pleaded guilty earlier to one count of battery after he was shown in a photo standing with both feet on an Iraqi who was tied up on the ground.

Cooley and Kenyon face up to two years in prison and Larkin faces up to six months in jail when they are sentenced, probably on Friday.

In a separate trial in January, Fusilier Gary Bartlam, 20, pleaded guilty to taking photos of several incidents of abuse, including forcing prisoners to simulate sex acts, and to aiding and abetting Cooley in the forklift incident. He was sentenced to 18 months.

Bartlam was arrested after he returned to Britain and took his film to be developed. The film lab alerted police.

The photos caused widespread revulsion – and comparisons to the U.S. Abu Ghraib prison scandal – when they were later published around the world.

The abuses occurred in May 2003, following the invasion of Iraq, when members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers found civilians looting a humanitarian aid warehouse outside the southern city of Basra.

The trials were conducted in Germany, where the regiment is based.