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Army major faces dismissal over video of Iraq beatings

UK Daily Mail | May 13, 2007 
MARK NICOL

An Army commander is facing disciplinary action over an incident of brutality that shocked millions of television viewers and caused riots in southern Iraq.

Major James Faux, 35, will be the first British officer punished for abusing Iraqi civilians if allegations against him are proved.

The officer, who had been told he would not be court martialled, now faces an internal process called Army General and Administrative Instructions.

It means he could be asked to resign his commission if his position of command were considered 'untenable'.

Accusations against Major Faux follow the release last year of a shocking video depicting four Iraqi protesters - all apparently in their early teens - being hauled from a street protest into a secluded army compound.

Once inside, they were beaten senseless with batons, boots and fists. Their ordeal culminated with a much older, well built soldier delivering a full-force kick in the genitals to a cringing lad pinned to the ground.

The pictures were accompanied by a chilling soundtrack. As the beatings intensified one soldier shouted: "Oh yes! Oh yes! You're gonna get it. Yes, naughty little boys! Die! Ha, ha!"

Major Faux was serving with the Ist Battalion, The Light Infantry at the time, which has now been incorporated into a new regiment called The Rifles.

It is understood he did not participate in the alleged beating or the recording. However, he is accused of neglecting to ensure his soldiers' good conduct.

The video of the 2004 incident in Al-Amarah appeared on the internet in 2006 and was then shown on British TV news. Rioting resulted in the town.

Major Faux and four other soldiers were questioned in Paderborn, Germany, on their return from Easter leave this year. Their fate will be decided by senior officers.

The move follows the collapse of the £20million court martial of Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Mendonca, who was accused of failing to control soldiers under his command when an Iraqi died in British custody.

Major Faux was praised for his bravery in Iraq and earned the nickname "Danger' for the number of times he and his men were engaged by insurgents.

Official Ministry of Defence advice on discipline reads: "AGAI deals with the procedure for removing officers from their appointment when their position has become, for some reason, untenable."

An MoD spokesman said: "I can confirm an administrational action is being considered against five soldiers relating to this incident. It is ongoing."

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