A LEADING human rights law firm which took up hundreds of claims of atrocities by British troops in Iraq has been stripped of legal aid funding.
Birmingham-based Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) will no longer receive public money after the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) ruled that it had not met contractual requirements.
An LLA statement said the agency “has no role in judging the issues of professional conduct involved in the allegations.
“However, we are clear that contractual breaches with LAA’s contract are proven and warrant investigation by the relevant authorities.
“LAA will carefully consider any application to transfer representation to a new firm in accordance with the relevant criteria.”
The allegations against PIL date back to the 2014 al-Sweady inquiry into alleged war crimes by British forces in Iraq 10 years before.
The inquiry concluded in its final report that allegations of war crimes following the Battle of Danny Boy in southern Iraq on May 14 2004 were based on “deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility.”
PIL has rejected the allegations, which relate to claimed payments to potential witnesses to abuse, claiming they are politically motivated.
The firm and its founder Phil Shiner made their name challenging miscarriages of justice and bringing judicial review cases against the British government.
The most notorious of these concerned the killing of Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa who, an inquiry found, was brutally beaten to death while in British military custody near Basra in 2003.
A post-mortem found that Mr Mousa had suffered 93 separate injuries leading up to his death at the hands of members of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment.