Compensation for Iraqi police as part of Red Caps inquiry

The Northern Echo: Lance Corporal Tom Keys, 20, a Royal Military Policeman, who was killed fighting in Iraq for the British army, one of six Red Caps killed by an Iraqi mob as they manned a small police station on June 24, 2003. Lance Corporal Tom Keys, 20, a Royal Military Policeman, who was killed fighting in Iraq for the British army, one of six Red Caps killed by an Iraqi mob as they manned a small police station on June 24, 2003.

NINE Iraqi police officers who said they were tortured by the SAS while they hunted the killers of six Royal Military Policemen have been awarded about £800,000 in compensation.

The secret payout was arranged by the Ministry of Defence and the Iraqis’ solicitors, according to a national newspaper today (Sunday, December 1).

Members of the SAS were accused of strangling them and beating them with rifles at a police station in Majar al-Kabir, in Iraq’s Maysan province, ten years ago.

The top-secret mission, codenamed Operation Jocal, was to find the killers of six Royal Military Policemen.

The ‘Red Caps’, as they are known, had been murdered by a mob at the same police station six days earlier.

They were: Lance Corporal Ben Hyde, 23, from Northallerton, Corporal Simon Miller, 21, from Washington, Corporal Paul Long, 24, of South Shields, Corporal Russelll Aston, 30 from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell, 41, from Chessington, Surrey; and Lance Corporal Tom Keys, 20, from Bala, North Wales.

Up to 40 soldiers, including a former SAS commander, are under investigation for alleged brutality.

If found guilty of actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm, they may be jailed.

In the New Year MoD police detectives will fly out to question the Iraqi officers about their treatment on June 30, 2003, when they were confronted by 20 SAS soldiers armed with automatic rifles and pistols.

A spokesman for the MoD Police said: "No arrests have been made, but detectives will be interviewing the complainants in the early part of 2014.”

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