Seven Paras facing murder charge

SEVEN British paratroopers from an East Anglian garrison have been charged with the murder of an Iraqi civilian. The men, who were all members of the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment at the time of the alleged offence, will face court martial for a joint offence of murder and a second charge of violent disorder, the Government announced yesterday.

SEVEN British paratroopers from an East Anglian garrison have been charged with the murder of an Iraqi civilian.

The men, who were all members of the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment at the time of the alleged offence, will face court martial for a joint offence of murder and a second charge of violent disorder, the Government announced yesterday.

The charges relate to the death of Nadhem Abdullah following a roadside incident in May 2003 in Al U'Zayra in southern Iraq.

Attorney General Lord Goldsmith named three of the men as Scott Evans, William Nerney and Daniel Harding, who have all now left the Army.


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The other four men will be named when they have been informed of the charges against them.

The four are still members of the regiment and will remain on active duty while the investigation continues.

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In a written statement to the House of Lords, Lord Goldsmith said no date had yet been set for the trial or for a preliminary hearing.

The announcement will be a major blow to the Government and the Army, already reeling from the pictures of British troops allegedly abusing Iraqi looters.

The troops of 3 Para have been based in Colchester for about five years and are part of 16 Air Assault Brigade which is the nucleus of the Airborne Task Force.

Both the Army and Ministry of Defence said they would not comment further on the details of the alleged incident.

n Another British soldier has been charged with the murder of an Iraqi civilian in a separate incident.

Trooper Kevin Williams, of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, is accused of killing a man in south eastern Iraq in August 2003.

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