British troops carried out a litany of abuses and "terrifying acts of brutality" against hundreds of Iraqi civilians, the High Court heard today.
Women, the elderly and children were among the victims of indiscriminate action following the invasion of Iraq, according to an 82-page document put before two judges.
Lawyers representing 192 Iraqis are demanding a full public inquiry into allegations that British interrogators were guilty of a unlawful killings and torture in British-controlled detention facilities.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is investigating the claims through the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT).
Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) successfully argued at the Court of Appeal that IHAT is not sufficiently independent as it comprised military police officers.
Ministers replaced them with naval police officers.
PIL argue that this does not go far enough as many of the navy police were actively involved in interrogations.
Michael Fordham QC, appearing for the Iraqis, said "enough is enough" at the start of the three-day hearing.
"There must be a public inquiry in relation to the credible and prima facie cases of human rights violations perpetrated by the British military in Iraq from 2003-09."
He told the court that it was necessary "for somebody independent to grasp this nettle and pursue the truth of what happened, and its implications, compatibly with the rule of law."
Mr Fordham said the decision to allow navy police officers to sit as members of IHAT, when numerous navy officers were involved in interrogations, did not satisfy "the relevant standard of independence" required.
The MoD argues that the claim that the navy police are not sufficiently independent is "inconsistent" with the appeal court decision.
Establishing a wide-ranging public inquiry now, while the investigation of individual cases was taking place, would be "inefficient, premature and disproportionate" it claims.
Speaking outside the court, Phil Shiner, from Public Interest Lawyers, said there are "hundreds and hundreds" of Iraqis with "tens of thousands" of allegations of mistreatment.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.
Nothing will bring back the hundreds of British soldiers killed fighting in Iraq at Tony Blair's behest.
Under a modicum of scrutiny the PM's international 'achievements' quickly unravel
The Con-Dems have had it their way too long. We have to turn this country around