Doctor is struck off for failing to report Iraq abuse

Dr Derek Keilloh
Dr Derek Keilloh
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A FORMER Army doctor has been struck off for failing to report injuries suffered by Iraqi detainee Baha Mousa at the hands of British soldiers who beat him to death.

Dr Derek Keilloh, who has worked as a GP in North Yorkshire after leaving the military, was a captain and regimental medical officer of 1st Battalion, the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment when he supervised a failed resuscitation attempt to save Mr Mousa’s life.

Mr Mousa had been hooded for nearly 24 hours and severely beaten by soldiers from the regiment after they arrested him, wrongly believing him to be an insurgent.

The father-of-two suffered 93 injuries including fractured ribs and a broken nose and his body was left swollen and bruised.

Dr Keilloh claimed later that the only sign of injury he saw was dried blood around the nose of Mr Mousa, 26, while giving mouth-to-mouth and CPR.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service announced its decision to ban Dr Keilloh from working as a doctor yesterday after finding him guilty of misconduct.

During a 47-day hearing, the panel heard Dr Keilloh, then aged 28 and only eight weeks into the job, was inexperienced, inadequately-trained and given little supervision or support.

The panel recognised Dr Keilloh, now a GP at Mayford House Surgery in Northallerton, never harmed Mr Mousa and did “everything possible” to save his life, in a setting that was “highly charged, chaotic, tense and stressful”.

But it ruled he must have seen the injuries and had a duty to act.

Dr Keilloh showed “repeated dishonesty” when he told court martials and a public inquiry that he had seen no injuries on Mr Mousa’s body, the panel said.

It also said Dr Keilloh did not do enough to protect other detainees from further mistreatment in the wake of Mr Mousa’s death.

Mr Mousa was working as a receptionist in a hotel in Basra in September 2003 when it was raided by soldiers searching for insurgents. He and nine others were arrested after weapons, fake ID and military clothing were found.

The operation followed the fatal shooting of three members of the Royal Military Police and the death of a soldier blown up by a roadside bomb.

Some members of the battalion wrongly believed the men were linked to the deaths and proceeded to mete out humiliating abuse, including hooding, sleep deprivation, being denied food and drink, being subjected to white noise and being made to stand in painful “stress positions”.

At around 9.30pm the day after Mr Mousa’s arrest, Dr Keilloh was summoned to the detention area because a prisoner had “fallen and collapsed”.

He found Mr Mousa lying on his back with no shirt on and began to perform CPR, but after 20 minutes Mr Mousa was declared dead.

Ahmed Al Matairi, who was also detained and beaten, described the final words of Mr Mousa, a widower, as he was beaten: “I am innocent. Blood! Blood! I am going to die. My children are going to become orphans.”

A £13m public inquiry concluded Mr Mousa had been subjected to an “appalling episode of serious gratuitous” violence.

Cpl Donald Payne was dismissed from the Army and jailed for a year after admitting inhumanely treating civilians at a £20m court martial. Six colleagues were cleared.

The Ministry of Defence agreed to pay £2.83m to the families of Mr Mousa and nine other Iraqi men abused by British troops.

Dr Keilloh, who was said to be “extremely disappointed” at the decision, has 28 days to appeal in the High Court to save his career.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Mousa’s father, Colonel Daoud Mousa, said he had wanted the doctor to be banned for life.

“He did not have humanity in his heart when he was supposed to be caring for my son. He did not do his job properly,” he said.