Tory MP calls for police probe into lawyer at centre of Iraq probe row
A former soldier who led a damning parliamentary inquiry into the Iraq Historical Allegations Team (Ihat) probe has called for police to investigate a lawyer at the centre of the row.
Tory MP Johnny Mercer has written to Scotland Yard asking for an investigation into Phil Shiner, the disgraced solicitor who was struck off after being found to have acted dishonestly in bringing murder and torture claims against British Iraq War veterans.
In his letter to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Mr Mercer said Mr Shiner's behaviour "cannot be right" and asked for an investigation into whether the lawyer had "transgressed the boundaries of English law".
Human rights lawyer Mr Shiner, who ran the now-defunct Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), was struck off after 12 charges of misconduct were found proved against him by a panel of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
In five of those charges, the 60-year-old was found to have acted dishonestly.
In the letter to Sir Bernard, reported by The Sun, Mr Mercer said: "It is not for the law authorities to account for the undoubtedly devastating effect this has had on the lives of those accused by Shiner and his firm, but given the charges proved against Mr Shiner, I would ask you whether any of these actions, or any not considered in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal proceedings, but unearthed elsewhere, have transgressed the boundaries of English law."
Explaining his decision to write the letter, Mr Mercer said "I do not do it lightly" but "after working so closely around this issue for a sustained period I am brought to the conclusion that this simply cannot be right".
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon announced on Friday that the £60 million Ihat probe would be wound up after the cross-party investigation led by former Army officer Mr Mercer delivered its scathing report.
The sub-committee of t he Commons Defence Committee said the probe had subjected serving and retired troops to "deeply disturbing" treatment and had "directly harmed" UK defences.
The MPs set out a litany of failures in the way the Ministry of Defence, which created Ihat, handled the probe.
They blamed the department for empowering law firms to generate cases that lacked credibility on an "industrial scale".
And they criticised it for "serious" failings after it handed over more than £110,829 to Abu Jamal, an Iraqi middleman, while he was employed by PIL.