UK doctor stripped of license over death of Iraqi

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Updated 21 December 2012
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UK doctor stripped of license over death of Iraqi

LONDON: A British doctor was stripped of his medical license yesterday for misconduct and dishonesty over the death of an Iraqi man who was beaten and killed while in the custody of British troops.
The latest fallout from Britain’s troubled occupation of Iraq came as defense officials confirmed they have paid £14 million to settle claims of abuse from more than 200 Iraqis.
Dr. Derek Keilloh treated Baha Mousa, a hotel clerk who died at a British base after being detained in Basra in September 2003 during a sweep for insurgents. Keilloh, then a 28-year-old captain in the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, tried unsuccessfully to revive Mousa, but denied knowledge of the scale of the man’s injuries.
A public inquiry found that Mousa had sustained 93 injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose, in an “appalling episode of serious gratuitous violence” by British troops.
Last week the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service ruled that Keilloh knew of the injuries and failed to adequately examine Mousa’s body. It said he also failed to inform senior officers of what was going on and protect other detainees from further mistreatment.
The tribunal also ruled that Keilloh engaged in “misleading and dishonest conduct” by maintaining under oath that he had seen no injuries to Mousa’s body.
On Friday the tribunal said that even though Keilloh had not harmed Mousa — and had tried his best to save him in a “highly charged, chaotic, tense and stressful” situation — the doctor should be barred from practicing medicine for at least five years.
“The panel has identified serious breaches of good medical practice and, given the gravity and nature of the extent and context of your dishonesty, it considers that your misconduct is fundamentally incompatible with continued registration,” said Dr. Brian Alderman, a member of the tribunal.
Dr. Jim Rodger of the Medical and Dental Defense Union of Scotland — which supported Keilloh — said the doctor was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling and was considering what to do next. He has 28 days to submit an appeal.
Baha Mousa’s father, Daoud Mousa, said he wished the doctor had been banned for life.
“He did not have humanity in his heart when he was supposed to be caring for my son,” Daoud Mousa said. “He did not do his job properly.”
The death of Mousa and mistreatment of other detainees blighted Britain’s six-year deployment in southern Iraq, which ended in 2009.
Britain’s defense authorities eventually apologized for the mistreatment of Mousa and nine other Iraqis and paid a 3-million-pound ($4.9-million) settlement. Six soldiers were cleared of wrongdoing at a court martial, while another pleaded guilty and served a year in jail.
The Ministry of Defense said Friday that Britain has paid 14 million pounds to settle 205 damages claims since 2008, including 162 this year. A further 196 claims are being negotiated.
It said most of the 120,000 British troops who served in Iraq “conducted themselves with the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.”


First Russia air strikes hit south Syria as assault looms

Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad began ramping up their air strikes and artillery fire on the zone. (AP)
Updated 59 min 1 sec ago
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First Russia air strikes hit south Syria as assault looms

  • Russia, the United States, and Jordan agreed in July of last year on a de-escalation zone in rebel-controlled parts of southern Syria that would tamp down hostilities there
  • Intense Russian air strikes are hitting towns in Daraa’s eastern countryside for the first time since the cease-fire was agreed in southern Syria last year

BEIRUT: Russia bombed rebel-held parts of southern Syria late Saturday for the first time since brokering a cease-fire there nearly a year ago, a monitor group said, as allied regime troops prepare a ground assault.
Southern Syria is a strategic prize for local and global players involved in the country’s convoluted seven-year war.
After securing the capital Damascus, Syrian President Bashar Assad appears keen to recapture the southern provinces of Daraa and Sweida, still mostly held by rebels.
He has sent military reinforcements there for weeks, dropped flyers demanding rebels surrender, and escalated bombardment in recent days.
Late Saturday night, his Russian allies bombed rebel-held towns in Daraa for the first time since the summer of 2017, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“Intense Russian air strikes are hitting towns in Daraa’s eastern countryside for the first time since the cease-fire was agreed in southern Syria last year,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
The Observatory said the warplanes used Saturday — based on type, location, munitions and flight patterns — had come from the Russian-operated Hmeimim base in coastal Syria.
The Britain-based monitor said at least 25 Russian strikes hit the rebel zones but did not have any casualty figures.

Russia, the United States, and Jordan agreed in July of last year on a de-escalation zone in rebel-controlled parts of southern Syria that would tamp down hostilities there.
Since then, Moscow’s warplanes — active in Syria since 2015 — had refrained from bombing rebel positions in the south.
But violence has been ratcheting up this week as Syrian government forces look to retake the south militarily.
Forces loyal to Assad began ramping up their air strikes and artillery fire on the zone on Tuesday.
At least 19 civilians in rebel-held zones have died since then, according to the Observatory.
Several civilians have also been killed in opposition fire on government zones, with state news agency SANA reporting Saturday that two civilians were killed in Daraa city in rebel shelling.
Some 12,000 people have been displaced from Daraa province in recent days, the Observatory said, with many seeking refuge in poorly-equipped displacement camps further west.
The United Nations has warned that growing violence is putting the lives of 750,000 people in rebel parts of the south in danger.
On Saturday, regime forces took two villages in Daraa province, their first ground gains after days of bombardment, the Observatory said.

“The Russian strikes started around 10:30pm local time (1930 GMT) and stopped after midnight,” said Ibrahim Mohammad, a media activist in the battered rebel town of Busr Al-Harir in Daraa.
He said he and other residents had taken to their basements and bomb shelters as soon as they heard the planes, describing a steady thud of bombardment for nearly two hours.
In an effort to avoid a deadly offensive, international powers are holding talks aimed at reaching a negotiated settlement for Syria’s south.
“All sides should seize the opportunity to negotiate a deal for the conditional return of the Syrian state to the south west and avert a military conclusion that, for all sides and the local population, would be a worse outcome,” wrote the International Crisis Group think tank last week.
“The US, Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western cease-fire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement,” the report added.
Earlier this month, Assad said contacts were ongoing between Russia, the United States and Israel over the southern front.
“We are giving the political talks a chance, but if they fail, there will be no choice but liberation by force,” he said.
The regime has retaken large parts of Syria from the opposition since Russia intervened militarily on its side in 2015.