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Iraqi officials 'ordered' the execution of Luke

PUBLISHED: 13:34 23 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:14 11 August 2010

Luke's funeral in 2003

Luke's funeral in 2003

THE TRIAL of two Iraqis accused of murdering a Dagenham soldier and another British serviceman six years ago, has resumed in Baghdad. It is alleged that the two former Ba ath party officials Faisal Al Saadoon, 56, and Khalaf Mufdhi, 58, ordered the shooti

THE TRIAL of two Iraqis accused of murdering a Dagenham soldier and another British serviceman six years ago, has resumed in Baghdad.

It is alleged that the two former Ba'ath party officials Faisal Al Saadoon, 56, and Khalaf Mufdhi, 58, ordered the shooting of Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth and Sapper Luke Allsopp.

The two British soldiers from the Royal Engineers were captured by militias near Basra, on the outskirts of Zubayr, in March, 2003.

Luke Allsopp, who lived in Bromhall Road, Dagenham, was just 24 when he was killed during the Iraq War.

The accused men appeared charged with murder at the Iraqi Higher Tribunal on May 25.

A panel of five presiding judges heard evidence from the first prosecution witnesses about what happened near the town of Al Zubayr six years ago.

According to the anonymous witness neither of the accused was present at the scene of the ambush.

He also said he had never heard anything about party officials ordering the killings.

However it is claimed by a BBC journalist that the evidence given contradicted what the witness told British Military Police during their investigation of the killings.

During the trial the senior judge asked the witness if he was frightened of something, but the witness said he was not.

The British Army says the two soldiers veered off course, were ambushed and taken to the local Ba'ath party headquarters.

There, it is alleged Luke Allsopp and Simon Cullingworth, 36, from Essex, were executed.

Both were members of 33 (EOD) Engineer Regiment, a specialist bomb disposal unit of the Royal Engineers, based at Carver Barracks, Wimbish, Essex.

Footage of the two wounded soldiers was broadcast by Qatari-owned al-Jazeera TV. The British government condemned their behaviour at the time.

About a month after the alleged murders the soldiers' bodies were found and exhumed.

The case was adjourned for two weeks.


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