A trial of seven British soldiers accused of murdering an Iraqi teenager, which has cost taxpayers an estimated £10 million, collapsed today after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.
The soldiers, all members of the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, have been found not guilty of murder and violent disorder.
The soldiers were standing trial accused of murdering 18-year-old Nadhem Abdullah in an attack on a group of Iraqi civilians in al-Ferkah, 60 miles north of Basra, in May 2003.
Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett today directed the military panel hearing the court martial in Colchester, Essex, to clear the seven defendants of all charges against them.
He said: “In relation to all the defendants, after discarding the evidence that is too inherently weak or vague for any sensible person to rely on it, prosecution evidence taken at its highest is such that a reasonable jury or court martial board properly directed could never reach the high standard of proof required to be sure of the guilt of any defendant.