British Army Corporal David Payne, convicted of abusing Iraqi detainees in 2003, was sent to jail for one year on Monday. Payne, who was one of seven British soldiers who faced court-martial for charges of detainee abuse, had pleaded guilty to charges of inhumane treatment in September. The court-martial of the seven was the first prosecution of British military personnel under the International Criminal Court Act 2001 (ICCA) and Payne was the first British soldier to admit to committing a war crime in Iraq.
The charges stemmed from a 2003 raid on a hotel in Basra in which British troops detained several Iraqi civilians, including hotel receptionist Baha Musa [Herald report], who died while in custody. The soldiers allegedly took the Iraqis to a detention facility where they were held for 36 hours and subjected to physical abuse, causing Musa's death, according to prosecutors. Charges against the other soldiers were eventually dropped.