§ Mr. Ingram
[holding answer 18 November 2002]: According to records held by the Ministry of Defence, 1,868 potential witnesses were traced and interviewed during the course of Operation Sandcastle by the Royal Military Police. During the course of their investigation they recorded 1,056 individual questionnaires and collected a further 725 statements (including those made by British citizens held as Prisoners of War by the Iraqis).
Our records do not detail in which countries those interviews were conducted but I understand that most were conducted in the United Kingdom and Kuwait as well as other Gulf States.
This report contains the confidential statements of individuals who witnessed or were subject to alleged acts of Iraqi brutality during the Gulf War, and the Ministry of Defence has a duty to protect the confidentiality of those who co-operated with the Royal Military Police. I am therefore withholding the report under Exemption 14 (Information given in confidence) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.