Iraqi judge issues arrest warrants for British soldiers freed in Basra jail break

[JURIST] An Iraqi lawyer said Saturday that an Iraqi judge has issued warrants for the arrest of 2 British soldiers freed in a UK raid on a Basra jail [JURIST report] Monday. The soldiers, reported to be undercover SAS [Wikipedia backgrounder] members, are accused of killing an Iraqi policeman and wounding another, carrying unlicensed weapons and holding false identification. Judge Raghib Hassan is said to have actually issued the warrants Thursday. Britain's Ministry of Defence [official website] said Saturday that it had not received the warrants and even so, the arrest warrants would have no legal basis because "All British troops in Iraq come under the jurisdiction of Britain."

Meanwhile in Basra, thousands of Shiites rallied Saturday to show their support of the proposed Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive]. Leading Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani [Wikipedia profile] called earlier this week for Shiites to support the document, which will be put to a national referendum on October 15. Another key Shiite cleric in Basra, Ayatollah Mohammed Yaqubi, has come out against the charter [Telegraph report], however; his stance as head of the popular conservative Fadhila party is said to have shocked British diplomats in the area and prompted fears of violence in the run-up to the referendum. Reuters has more.



 

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