Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Iraqi doctor 'complicit in torture'

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has found that Mohammed Al-Byati was complicit in acts of torture in Iraq

An Iraqi doctor was "part of the machinery" of Saddam Hussein's brutal regime and was "complicit in acts of torture", a medical tribunal has found.

Mohammed Al-Byati carried out medical treatments on camp detainees in Iraq between December 1992 and March 1994, a fitness to practise panel held by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has found.

The panel has heard evidence that the doctor visited camps and prisons and, whilst administering treatment, knew that some prisoners he treated had sustained injuries as a result of torture, and it was likely that the prisoners would be tortured again.

It also heard that as a consequence of Dr Al-Byati's involvement, he was "complicit in acts of torture".

The panel has found that all the allegations against Dr Al-Byati, 47, have been proved, and will now consider whether the doctor, who has been working in the UK since January 2000, should be struck off the medical register.

Dr Al-Byati, who is suspended pending the outcome of the tribunal, appeared before the panel on Tuesday to deny the charges.

He said he had been a junior doctor and was "terrified" of what would happen to him and his family if he did not do as he was told and said he did not know the people he was treating had been tortured.

But Charles Garside QC, prosecuting on behalf of the General Medical Council, said the doctor, a Sunni Muslim, was part of a "well-known family" which supported the Saddam regime.

Mr Garside said he knew that his place of work within the Al-Khadymia compound of the Iraqi Intelligence Agency was a place where "horrific atrocities were committed".

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