Image: British soldier abuses an Iraqi prisoner.
AP file
Lance Corporal Mark Cooley, seen here with an Iraqi detainee, is one of two British soldiers who were convicted Wednesday of abusing civilian prisoners.
updated 2/23/2005 1:12:18 PM ET 2005-02-23T18:12:18

A military jury convicted two British servicemen Wednesday on charges of involvement in abusing Iraqi civilians in 2003.

The panel of seven senior officers found Lance Cpl. Mark Cooley, 25, and Cpl. Daniel Kenyon, 33, guilty after a month-long trial at a British base in Germany.

A third defendant had already pleaded guilty but awaits sentencing with Kenyon and Cooley.

The charges relate to the abuse of Iraqi civilians suspected of looting a humanitarian aid warehouse outside Basra in May 2003. Photos of the incidents provoked dismay in Britain after being published in newspapers, leading to comparisons with the scandal over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison.

The defendants were members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Kenyon was convicted of aiding and abetting the abuse and failing to report it, and he faces up to two years in prison.

Cooley was convicted of simulating punching a detainee, an action that was shown in a photograph, and of tying up a detainee and hoisting him on a fork lift. He also faces up to two years.

Both men stared straight ahead as the verdict was read by the jury foreman, Brigadier John Deverell.

Two other defendants already pleaded guilty
The third defendant, Lance Cpl. Darren Larkin, 30, already pleaded guilty to one count of battery, acknowledging he was the man shown in a photo standing with both feet on a tied-up Iraqi lying on the ground.

A fourth soldier, Fusilier Gary Bartlam, who took the photos, was sentenced in the case during a separate trial in January. Bartlam, 20, pleaded guilty to three charges: aiding and abetting Cooley during the forklift incident and taking photos of naked Iraqis posed to simulate sexual activity on two occasions.

Four more serious assault charges were dropped, however.

Bartlam was sentenced to 18 months, and the judge said he would probably serve half that sentence in confinement.

Details of Bartlam’s case could only be reported Wednesday after the judge, Michael Hunter, lifted reporting restrictions imposed for the duration of the trial in Osnabrueck.

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