Soldier denies destroying Iraq abuse photos

Last updated at 11:16 11 February 2005

The commander of the men accused of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal denied at a court martial today that he had got rid of incriminating photographs.

Corporal Daniel Kenyon, 33, is the most senior soldier accused of the ill-treatment of captured looters at Camp Bread Basket in Basra in May 2003.

A court martial in Osnabruck, Germany, heard that a series of photographs seized from his home ended on April 8, 2003 - more than a month before the alleged abuse took place.

Prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Nick Clapham

suggested the reason for this was because Kenyon had disposed of later photographs of the incidents which took place at the camp.

Kenyon, a father of two from Newcastle upon Tyne, denied this and claimed he had simply run out of film.

Lt Col Clapham said: "I am suggesting you were an avid photographer who took many pictures, not that you ran out of film but that we don't have the later films because they are incriminating. You know what I am suggesting?"

Kenyon replied: "I know what you are suggesting but you are wrong."

He added: "I wasn't going to the Gulf to take

photographs, I was going to fight a war."

Kenyon admitted he could be seen taking a photograph in the background of a picture of one of his co-defendants, Lance Corporal Darren Larkin, who was standing on top of a bound Iraqi prisoner.

Kenyon said he could not remember the incident

taking place.

Kenyon faces several charges, including aiding and abetting soldiers - who have never been identified - to force the prisoners to engage in simulated sex acts and failing to report the abuse.

He admitted that if he had seen similar incidents taking place in his barracks then he would have reported it but he felt the way Camp Bread Basket was run was so "infected" that reporting the

abuse would have been pointless.

The prosecution claimed the real reason he did not report it because he was "involved in a lot of what is going on".