Ministry of Defence
IHAT to close at the end of June
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has confirmed the date that IHAT will close.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon yesterday announced that the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) will officially close on 30 June 2017. This follows his decision in February to bring IHAT to an end by the summer, enabled by the striking off of Mr Phil Shiner.
The remaining cases, expected to number around 20, will then be dealt with by the Service Police - a combination of Royal Navy Police and Royal Air Force Police, led by a senior Royal Navy Police officer. All investigations are expected to be completed by the end of next year.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
We took the unprecedented step of submitting evidence which saw Phil Shiner struck off and allowed IHAT to dispose of many false allegations he made. Now I can confirm that IHAT will close in June and the Service Police should complete investigations into the small number of remaining cases a year earlier than planned.
We are taking steps to make sure the reputation of our Armed Forces cannot be attacked in this dishonest way again.
In 2015 the Defence Secretary directed the MOD to submit evidence of wrongdoing by Phil Shiner which led to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal striking Mr Shiner off in February.
The exposure of the dishonesty of Mr Shiner meant that many of the allegations that his now defunct firm, Public Interest Lawyers, had brought forward were discredited and enabled the Defence Secretary to decide to close IHAT. IHAT’s caseload is expected to reduce from a peak of over 3,000 allegations to around 20 investigations by the time it closes.
Chief of the General Staff General Sir Nick Carter said:
The Army’s Leadership Code requires the highest values and standards. It is right therefore that on the occasions that there are credible allegations of unacceptable behaviour they should be investigated.
However, a significant number of claims made against our soldiers have not been credible. The recent exposure of unscrupulous law firms and vexatious claims has clearly shown this to be the case; it is right therefore that the Defence Secretary has decided to close IHAT and hand over the remaining investigations to the Service Police, a process the Army supports.
Mutual trust is at the heart of the Army Leadership Code as is the care of soldiers and their families. We therefore welcome the Government’s commitment to ensuring we have the Nation’s confidence and the tools to do our jobs effectively on operations, free from the burden of unjust litigation.
The Service Police will be supported by a minimum level of essential contractor support for specialist back office functions, such as the operation of the Forensic Data Handling computer, in order to complete its investigations. Contractors will have no contact with UK witnesses or suspects.
Latest News from
Ministry of Defence
Defence response to the ‘Women in the Armed Forces’ Report03/12/2021 12:10:00
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) response to Parliament’s Defence Sub-Committee’s report into ‘Women in the Armed Forces: From Recruitment to Civilian Life’ has been published.
Protecting Defence and keeping you safe this festive season02/12/2021 15:15:15
The Ministry of Defence Police encourages everyone to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity.
26th OPCW Conference of States Parties: UK statement02/12/2021 10:34:00
Baroness Goldie yesterday gave the UK statement to the 26th Conference of States Parties of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Armed Forces make major changes to end HIV being a barrier to service02/12/2021 10:15:00
A number of changes that will make it easier for people with HIV to pursue a career in the Armed Forces were yesterday announced on World AIDS Day.
DIO awards new delivery partner contracts for US Visiting Forces sites01/12/2021 15:15:15
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has recently awarded three new contracts to support infrastructure upgrades at UK armed forces bases used by the United States Visiting Forces (USVF).
MOD to continue to pay annuities to members of the Victoria Cross and George Cross29/11/2021 15:15:15
The Ministry of Defenced (MOD) will continue to pay £10,000 annuities to members of the Victoria Cross and George Cross.
Minister for Africa and Armed Forces Minister travel to Senegal to strengthen economic and security ties in West Africa29/11/2021 14:12:00
Minister for Africa Vicky Ford and Armed Forces Minister James Heappey recentky travelled to Senegal to strengthen economic and security ties between the two countries.
RFCA for Wales welcome 130 guests to Annual Briefing29/11/2021 13:43:00
The Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales welcomed more than 130 guests to its Annual Briefing.