A BRITISH Army major who unlawfully ordered his soldiers to punish Iraqi civilians by "working them hard" was due to give evidence at a court-martial today.
Maj Dan Taylor, of the 1st Bn The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was being called as a witness at the court-martial of three of his soldiers who are accused of abusing Iraqis.
The trial, at a British Army base in Osnabruck, Germany, comes after US Army Specialist Charles Graner was jailed last week for 10 years for sexually humiliating and attacking prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.
Lance Cpl Mark Cooley, 25, from Newcastle upon Tyne, denies three charges, which include tying a male prisoner to a forklift truck and simulating punching and kicking another unknown man.
Cpl Daniel Kenyon, 33, denies six charges, including two of aiding and abetting a person to force two naked men to simulate a sex act.
Lance Cpl Darren Larkin, 30, from Oldham, admitted one charge of assaulting an unknown man at the camp. He denies another of forcing two Iraqi men to undress in front of others.
Photographs of the "shocking and appalling" abuse of the civilians at the hands of the British soldiers were revealed yesterday.
The photos were taken in May, 2003, at a humanitarian aid camp near Basra.
Lt-Col Nick Clapham, prosecuting, said Maj Taylor, the camp's commander, had ordered that looters should be "worked hard" - which was a breach of the Geneva Convention.
The court heard he had outlined his plan to his commanding officer, Lt-Col David Paterson, who approved it.
More than 100 British soldiers were involved in the unlawful operation which began at daybreak. They patrolled the camp in their PT kits in groups of four to six.