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British soldiers on abuse charges


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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Four British soldiers will face courts martial for alleged abuses committed in Iraq, according to Britain's attorney general.

Four soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers will go on trial on charges relating to alleged abuses of Iraqi civilians, a statement from Attorney General Peter Goldsmith said.

The charges against the four include apparently making their victims perform sexual acts with each other.

"The charges against the four include assault, indecent assault which apparently involves making the victims engage in sexual activity between themselves, and a military charge of prejudicing good order and military discipline," the statement said.

"The case concerns conduct alleged to have occurred whilst the civilians were being temporarily detained, but not in a prison or detention facility.

"It involves photographic evidence developed in this country and referred to the UK police."

The statement said the trial would be held in a military court and be open to the public. No date had been set.

The Army Prosecuting Authority is actively considering a further three cases of alleged abuses by British soldiers in Iraq, the statement said.

In addition, "the APA is aware of at least four other cases which are likely to be referred to them in the very near future," the statement added.

The attorney general referred another case -- the shooting death of an Iraqi prisoner -- to the Crown Prosecution Service because the commander of the soldier involved initially dismissed the charges.


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