§ The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith)
I undertook in my Statement of 14 June 2004 (Official Report, cols. WS 22–23) to inform the House by way of Written Statement when any further charges are laid against soldiers arising from incidents in Iraq.
The Army Prosecuting Authority has directed that seven individuals should stand trial by court martial for a joint offence of murder and a second joint charge contrary to Section 70 of the Army Act, of violent disorder contrary to Section 2 of the Public Order Act 1986. The matter relates to the death of Mr Nadhem Abdullah on 11 May 2003 in Al U'Zayra in southern Iraq, following an incident at the roadside. The seven charged with the offence were all members of the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment at the time. The three men who have been directed to stand trial and who can be named are:
- Corporal Scott Evans;
- Private William Nerney; and
- Daniel Harding (now a civilian).
I will give the names of the remaining soldiers by Written Statement once they have been informed of the charges against them. No date has been set for trial or a preliminary hearing in this matter.