Friday, February 03, 2017

Lawyer who bought false claims against British Troops struck off for dishonesty

Phil Shiner, the solicitor who brought more than 2,000 allegations of human rights abuses against British service personnel without securing a single conviction, has been struck off for professional misconduct and dishonesty.

A tribunal found Shiner acted dishonestly, recklessly and without integrity while bringing false allegations of murder, torture and mistreatment against hundreds of soldiers.

The tribunal found Shiner guilty of 22 misconduct charges. They were proved to the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt. Two other charges were left to lie on the file.

Shiner was also ordered to pay for the full costs of the prosecution, starting with an interim downpayment of £250,000.

The National Crime Agency is now investigating whether Phil Shiner himself should now face prosecution after the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) passed a file to them.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon issued this statement yesterday

I agree, and Phil Shiner is not the only person who should consider making an apology.

Last year when the government announced plans to protect British troops from spurious legal claims they were attacked by various people on the left including Labour's shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis who dismissed the proposals as a "smokescreen."

The charges made by Phil Shiner and his firm Public Interest Lawyers comprise the majority - around 65% - of the charges made to the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) against British service personnel.

Now that it has been established that thousands of charges - and indeed the majority of such charges relating to Iraq - were brought against British soldiers by someone who has been proved beyond reasonable doubt to have acted dishonestly in making them, it is clear that the government was right to be concerned about false allegations against our troops.

Those who criticised that concern should admit they were wrong and apologise not just to the government but to the men and women of our armed forces.

However, I shall not be holding my breath waiting for them to do so.

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