Soldiers prepare to sue disgraced lawyer Phil Shiner over Iraq claims

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Dec 08, 2017
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Phil Shiner was struck off and declared bankrupt this year

John Stillwell/PA

Serving and former soldiers are preparing to sue a disgraced solicitor who was struck off after pursuing false claims of Iraqi abuse.

The International Criminal Court has said it is still examining allegations submitted by Phil Shiner, who was struck off in February this year after being found guilty of multiple charges of professional misconduct.

The soldiers say that their careers, marriages and health were jeopardised during the inquiry into the claims that civilians were tortured or murdered. The claims were later found to be false.

Jagtar Rooprai, a solicitor with the Bradford law firm Petherbridge Bassra, said: “My initial view is that many will have viable claims and in some cases these may exceed six figures. It has to be remembered that those members of the armed forces affected were under suspicion falsely for years.”

The lawyer said that he had three cases but there could be many more. “At this stage we are still investigating the evidence as to how the soldiers were affected by the falsely represented claims.”

Shiner was declared bankrupt in March. His Birmingham law firm, Public Interest Lawyers, has closed down.

Rooprai said that any claim would have to be made against the insurance paid by Shiner to the Solicitors Indemnity Fund.

This week it emerged that Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, believed that British troops who fought in Iraq could face a war crimes trial.

She said that there was a reasonable basis to believe that some troops had abused captives during the conflict from 2003 until 2009.

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