A retired former army officer is leading a group of around 30 ex-service personnel in their legal action over allegations of war crimes. The veterans have begun proceedings against the Ministry of Defence and the lawyers who led claims of misconduct in warzones against them.
Major Robert Campbell, the man leading the group, was accused of drowning an Iraqi man in Basra in 2003. However, the charges were dismissed after a judge claimed that the accusations were based on lies and collusion. He was discharged in 2018 and is unable to work due to suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from his operational service and the legal trauma he suffered after the allegations.
He claims that the MoD essentially abandoned its service personnel and needlessly exposed them to legal uncertainty and vulnerability for years, despite two key witnesses in his case being exposed as liars as far back as 2006.
Campbell’s case is against the MoD and the indemnity insurers of the legal firm that he fought against; that company collapsed with the solicitor being struck off for dishonesty in relation to the public inquiry examining the claims used in the case.
The firm representing Mr Campbell and other veterans described the historic pursuit of frivolous allegations of war crimes as a “witch hunt based on deceit” and accused the MoD of breaching its duty of care owed to service personnel and veterans.
Mr Campbell and his representatives have said that letters of claims are being sent in the coming weeks and have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise £10,000 to cover court costs.