House of Lords to decide whether to investigate case of Iraqis killed by British troops

The House of Lords must render judgment Wednesday on whether there should have been an independent investigation into the deaths of Iraqis at the hands of British troops and whether human right law applies to the conduct of troops in Iraq.

The issue arose in the case of six Iraqis who were killed by British troops in separate incidents in 2003. The case was brought by the families of the victims.

In 2005, the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling that both the European Convention on Human Rights and the domestic Human Rights Act applied to the detention of 26-year-old hotel worker Baha Mousa.

However, the court ruled that the same rights were not extended to five other Iraqis who were not in custody at the time they were fatally wounded.

Mousa was arrested during a raid at the Haitham Hotel then fatally beaten by British soldiers. In March, a court martial convicted one soldier of inhumane treatment but acquitted five others charged in the case.

The other cases are:

Hazim Jum'aa Gatteh Al-Skeini, 23, shot dead in the street in August 2003.

Muhammad Abdul Ridha Salim, a teacher, 45, shot and fatally wounded in November 2003 during a British search operation at his brother-in-law's house.

Hannan Mahaibas Sadde Shmailawi, 33, shot and fatally wounded by a burst of machine gun fire while she was dining at home in November 2003.

Waleed Sayay Muzban, 43, died in August 2003 after being shot by a military patrol while he was driving a minibus.

Raid Hadi Sabir Al Musawi, 29, a police commissioner, shot and fatally wounded in the street by a British patrol.

The House of Lords is the highest court of appeal for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.