§ The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram)
On 4 May, I told the House that 33 cases of civilian deaths, injuries or alleged ill-treatment in Iraq have been investigated by Service Police. The Secretary of State repeated this figure in the House on 10 May, as did the Prime Minister on 12 May.
A detailed verification exercise was put in place to ensure that all cases were being properly investigated and centrally reported. As a result of this continuing exercise it has come to light that the figure given on 4 May failed to incorporate details of investigations from all branches of the Service Police.
The correct number of investigations into civilian deaths, injuries or alleged ill-treatment undertaken at 4 May was 61. Of these 23 were still in progress, 31 had 5WS concluded with no further action being taken and seven were pending a decision whether to prosecute. None of these additional 28 cases relates to detention facilities.
We have initiated a further 14 investigations since 4 May. These new investigations can principally be attributed to the high operational tempo over the last month, and a small number of new allegations made by Iraqi civilians relating to earlier incidents.
Steps have been taken to ensure that information on all Service Police investigations into incidents in Iraq are now held centrally. I will continue to update the House on significant developments as appropriate.