Justice for Dr Derek Keilloh

What actually happened?

Well loved family GP Dr Keilloh was struck off the medical practitioners register because the MPTS panel decided he had consistently lied under oath.

We believe that he has consistently told the truth.

dr keilloh
Derek Keilloh
News
 
 
2014 collapse of the Al Sweady Inquiry
In 2012 Dr Derek Keilloh was found unfit to practise because the panel deduced that he had been lying about his experiences in Basra since 2003. The General Medical Council (GMC)/Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel of three decided that on the balance of probabilities (not beyond all reasonable doubt), and without suggesting any motive for lying, that Derek Keilloh did know that Baha Mousa and other Iraqi detainees were being mistreated by their British Army guards.
 

Timeline of events leading up to and after Dr Derek Keilloh was erased from the General Medical Council register of medical practitioners.

 
Readers are asked to consider the following:
 
1. Was this a miscarriage of justice? - not only the destruction of a promising career, but also affecting a community of patients and colleagues, the removal of a valuable NHS doctor, and causing serious upset to a young family.

2. Is the constitution of the MPTS/GMC consistent, workable, fair? Is the legislation behind it flawed?

3. Was the case prejudiced? - how? - by whom? - why?

 
 
2003 June
Whilst Derek Keilloh, under the auspices of the British Army, was completing his GP training at The Friarage Hospital, Northallerton, he was informed that he was to be posted to Iraq. The order was changed three times to different units before the final order was made in July.
 
2003 August to November
He was deployed as the Regimental Medical Officer of 1 Queens Lancashire Regiment at Battle group Main, Basra, Iraq.
 
i)   His GP training was not yet completed – 6 months more training required – he should have continued to have supervision from a senior doctor (who in the event was 5 miles away and who did not offer any support).

ii)   He asked for specific training to prepare for war scenario - informed not possible/refused.

iii)   He asked to be able to acclimatise to the heat - informed not possible/refused (Pre-deployment training was offered to members of units who mobilised en masse. Given that Medical Officers (MO) are simply attached to units, rather than being an integral part of the team, their needs could be neglected, as in this case. As a consequence of all the revisions that have followed this particular incident, far more coherent training packages are delivered to MOs on deployment. This training produces doctors better equipped to work in stressful areas of conflict and war zones. Its importance is now recognised.)

iv)   Brief handover from previous MO (it was not made clear the detainees were his responsibility, at that time the prisoners were checked once every 24hrs).

v)   No welcome/communication from any Senior Officers.

vi)   No apparent teamwork existed between the group of medics. For more details and documentation see Points to Consider 1/2/3.   As he settled in, his priority was to build teamwork and understanding with his medics. He also started a clinic in Basra for Iraqi civilians enlisted into the peace-keeping process.
 
2003 September 15
Called from rest to resuscitate Baha Mousa late evening.
  • Had been working a 17 hour day since arrival.
  • Did everything medically possible (there have never been any criticisms about his professional performance here) to save the life of Baha Mousa including - mouth to mouth resuscitation, during which time the patient vomited into Derek’s mouth. When the team agreed to cease the resuscitation attempt, the body was not interfered with: it had been a sudden death and therefore needed to be sent off for forensic examination in accordance with protocols.
  • Baha Mousa's body was sent off in a body bag to the nearest morgue Shibah Airfield – 20 miles over desert.
  • ** Two more prisoners were sent to Dr Keilloh for examination that night. Derek could find no injuries at that time but asked to see them again the following morning. By then, despite his instructions, they had been sent away to the American army base at Um Quasar. (See also 2012 June 11**)
    For info re Contemporaneous notes see: Flawed? 1
    For more details about the other two prisoners see: Points to Consider 4.
  • Photographs of the body used in evidence (and in the media) were taken 6 days after death and after the journey over desert to the morgue. The body was deep frozen in an ad-hoc container at the time of autopsy by which time the bruises were evident.
  • There have been reports of the morgue stinking in the heat. For an anonymous report about conditions there, and discussion points on autopsy and cause of death see:
    Letter re: Post Mortem, Mortuary, Conditions.
 
Some days after this event, and realising that the 24hr check on the prisoners might not be frequent enough, Dr Keilloh set up a new regime of checking them every two hours.

This was misinterpreted: Points to Consider 6
 
2003 December
Derek began to realise the significance of Baha Mousa’s death after his return from Iraq.
There is a difference between a suspicion that something wrong was happening, and realising its extent and significance. He had received no training re: prisoners and ‘conditioning techniques’ or ‘tactical questioning’ – what is legal/illegal in international law. He had not expected to be responsible for detainees at all. He had expected that the prisoners would be safe in British Army hands, therefore he did not expect that the Geneva Convention would be contravened.

What he did not look for he did not see. ‘Inattentional blindness’ is well documented, visit : www.scholarpedia.org/article/Inattentional_blindness

Horizon BBC2 February 2014: Prof Daniel Kahneman and Professor Chris Chabris ‘How do we really make decisions'.
To view a clip ('The Invisible Fight') from the programme visit: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01sltgf

For opinion on this see: Letters 1 / 2

For more details see: Points to Consider 5
 
2005 October
Dr Derek Keilloh left the Army at conclusion of his commission.

Since the events in Basra his opinion of the Army had changed. As well as realising that the civilian detainees had been being severely beaten by the guards in Iraq, he had also witnessed and intervened in episodes of harsh treatment to junior soldiers belonging to other Units during their training in this country. He no longer felt that the Army was an organisation of which he wished to be a part.

Derek started working as a civilian GP as a locum in and around Northallerton, and also with the out of hours service.
 
2006 September
The court martial commenced. Seven members of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment stood trial accused of several charges relating to the ill treatment of detainees, including those of war crimes under the International Criminal Court Act 2001. In December Derek Keilloh appeared as a prosecution witness, no accusations were made against him.
September 19, 2006, Corporal Donald Payne pleaded guilty to a charge of inhumane treatment to persons.
 
2007 January
Dr Derek Keilloh joined a GP Practice in Northallerton as a partner.
 
2007 April
The court martial ended. Payne was jailed for one year and expelled from the army. No other officers or soldiers were punished.
 
2007 July 22
Motivated by Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), Phil Shiner, The Independent published an article prejudiced against Derek Keilloh, accusing him of being part of a cover-up, mentioning him by name and location.The article quotes Mr Shiner as saying 'I've now reported this to the GMC'. The journalist wrote this before he had been reported to the GMC for fitness to practise and before the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry. On the day of publication Derek actually was reported to the GMC who stated they would wait to see what the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry had to say. Derek was not suspended from work.

To read this article go to: UK Army doctor in Baha Mousa case.

For more detail behind this visit: Prejudiced? 1/2/3/4/5
 
2008 October 15
Baha Mousa Public Inquiry commenced. www.bahamousainquiry.org/index.htm
 
2009 May
Derek Keilloh’s witness statement to the William Gage Baha Mousa Public Enquiry:
http://www.bahamousainquiry.org/linkedfiles/baha_mousa/baha_mousa_inquiry_evidence/evidence_231109/bmi00484.pdf   Note particularly 101-145.

Through all the evolving investigations there are differences in the contents of statements made by the Medical Team and the Iraqi detainees. Derek’s has always been consistent. For more detail see: Prejudiced? 8/9
 
2010 June 25
Closing statements submitting that he was a reliable witness and acted correctly throughout.

This pdf includes all closing submissions, the one on behalf of Derek Keilloh starts on page 12:
http://www.bahamousainquiry.org/f_report/vol%20i/Part%20II/ch19/SUB000533.pdf

This link will show you the closing submission on behalf of Derek Keilloh in a pdf document:
Baha Mousa Inquiry - Closing submissions on behalf of Derek Keilloh.

It was said that he should have known that the detainees were being beaten, but not that he did. Does this imply that without all the mitigating circumstances he probably would have known? The closing statement begins:
'1. Dr Keilloh was an honest witness who did his best to help the Inquiry. Whether or not the Inquiry disagrees with any judgments made by Dr Keilloh in Iraq in 2003, it should accept his integrity. In passing comment on any matters of judgment, it should of course note the beneficial effects of hindsight.'
 
2011 September 8

Report of Baha Mousa Inquiry does not accuse Derek of lying about the events.

To read the report : www.bahamousainquiry.org/report/index.htm
He is not mentioned in the Chairman’s (William Gage) statement as someone who should accept responsibility for the appalling events – he blames Payne, Peebles, Rogers and Mendonca. Other than Payne, no other 1QLR member has been penalised.

There is absolutely nothing accusing Derek of medical malpractice in this case.
To read the Chairman's Statement:
www.bahamousainquiry.org/linkedfiles/baha_mousa/report/2011-09-08-chairmansstatement.pdf

The GMC said they still wanted to hear his case but did not suspend him in the meantime. He continued working as a very popular GP, doing out of hours work, and consulting with his legal team in preparation for the fitness to practise hearing.
For more comment and detail see: Prejudiced? 6/7

2011 September 8
BBC interview with Private Garry Reeder who saw his fellow soldiers beating up Baha Mousa tells of how he started CPR when they thought that they had killed him. As not medically trained he himself questions if he did something wrong whilst doing CPR.
This was before they sent for Dr Keilloh. Visit: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14845086
 
2012 June 11
GMC/MPTS hearing commenced for 6 weeks. Prior to the hearing the Chairman of the panel, Rebecca Poulet QC, is quoted in the press as making statements which sound as though he is already deemed guilty.

There was a huge body of evidence, lay and professional, confirming that Derek was an excellent and exemplary family GP. Photographs of Baha Mousa taken 6 days after death have been readily used by the press during all of the hearings, but now with Dr Keilloh’s photograph next to it.
For more details see: Prejudiced? 8 - 15

Missing evidence: Flawed? 1

This was one of the first cases heard by the newly formed MPTS ‘approved by Parliament in 2011 after the GMC made a commitment to reform its fitness to practise procedures, to create a more modern and more efficient adjudication service’ (quote Alistair Davie, Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries, Department of Health, 16/1/13)

For details about the panel of three and the standard of hearing see: Flawed? 3-6

Derek again admitted to the charges re: the other two prisoners, referred to above (2003 September **) See also: Points to Consider 4

During the final week of the hearing Derek was not required in court. All were left in suspense waiting for the verdict.
 
2012 July
A Facebook page was started in support of Dr Keilloh by his patients.
 
2012 July 19
The MPTS panel decided that they had run out of time and that the hearing would re-commence later at a date to be announced. They had not suspended him. Derek was unable to return to work – not only because he was in the middle of a GMC/MPTS hearing, but also because of medically diagnosed symptoms of stress. He was signed off work periodically during the course of the hearing.
 
2012 October 8
The case re-commenced for a week but Derek was not required in court. On the Thursday they announced yet again that they would need more time but could not/would not say when the hearing would resume.
 
2012 October 12
The family informed their MP, William Hague of the appalling length of time the hearing was taking – stopping and starting three times. He found it unacceptable and would have made a complaint had Derek had been his constituent. The majority of Dr Keilloh's patients were the Rt Hon William Hague's constituents.

View: Flawed? 3-5 and Points to Consider 7

812 signatures on the Facebook page – patients and colleagues in support of Derek. The panel had the Facebook supporting comments drawn to their attention to add to the huge stack of box files of letters from colleagues and patients supporting Derek as a good man and an excellent doctor. This was viewed by the panel to be of no relevance or importance.
 
2012 October 18
(Before the end of Derek’s hearing). The book ‘A Very British Killing’ by AT Williams of Warwick University was published. It uses transcripts of the Public Inquiry hearings to tell of the death of Baha Mousa.

For more detail see: Prejudiced? 16
 
2012 December 17
Hearing recommenced for one week, Derek was required to attend for the duration.
 
2012 December 21
Dr Derek Keilloh was struck off the medical register.

The panel concluded that he had known that the abuse was taking place. They were unable to put forward a motive for his alleged dishonesty. Their decision was based on ‘the balance of probabilities’ not ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’, and in spite of the fact that, in their own words: ‘It appears that, in all other areas of (his) professional and personal life, (he is) regarded as an honest, decent man of integrity’.
The following document uses the MPTS’s own words to question their final decision and sanction:
After reading the MPTS publishable minutes

What is the truth? Why lie? Visit: Flawed? 2

Patients stand up for their doctor. Visit:
www.darlingtonandstocktontimes.co.uk/news/10124371.Patients__fury_after_Iraq_death_GP_is_struck_off/

Article in ‘The Week’. Visit: www.theweek.co.uk/uk-news/50712/iraq-fiasco-how-have-top-brass-escaped-dismissal-or-discipline

Note the date here. The announcement was made just prior to Christmas. Not only was Dr Keilloh’s young family getting excited, but also everything was about to close down for two weeks for the festive season. Derek had 28 days to decide if he should launch an appeal.
 
2012 December 28
We have permission to use Clare Dyer’s article written for the British Medical Journal:

View article at: Clare Dyer BMJ article.

This article is online in the BMJ and to read it there you will need to sign up for a free 14 day trial.

or on line: www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e8686#ref-1
 
2013 January 3
Article in Royal College of Surgeons Bulletin arguing that to punish a doctor with a sanction as great as erasure they should be using a greater standard of proof than ‘in all probability’.

View the article at:
Van Dellen article in RSC Bulletin: GMC: Time to reconsider the civil standard of proof.

or online: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/rcse/brcs/2013/00000095/00000002/art00004
hague Public Meeting in Northallerton
Image courtesy of
The Northern Echo
hague Campaign group hands petition to William Hague
2013 January 7
Public meeting in Northallerton attended by hundreds of Derek’s patients, colleagues and the community asking for his re-instatement as their GP. A petition was started***see April 2013 below.

View the relevant news article on the patients petition:
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-20938367
 
2013 January 17
Exhausted, shocked and depressed Derek reluctantly decides that after nearly 10 years he cannot face further court appearances, and cannot put his family through any more stress, so decides against an appeal. The appeal process would require significant funding which was not now available to him through his indemnity provider. He no longer had an income. There was no new evidence to consider. The MPTS panel had not believed Derek's spoken evidence - unchanged over the past 9 years, but had accepted written evidence from an Iraqi witness as the truth.

View: Statement from Derek Keilloh (including legal synopsis from the legal team)

And view Points to Consider 8

Press coverage now changed from showing Baha Mousa’s bruised face next to Derek’s to, in some cases, support for a wronged man:
‘Struck-off Dr Derek Keilloh decides against appeal. A North Yorkshire GP struck off over the death of a detainee in Iraq has decided not to launch an appeal despite a campaign by his patients.’

View: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-21101769

and: http://www.darlingtonandstocktontimes.co.uk/news/10172254.Family_doctor_Derek_Keilloh__decides_not_to
_appeal_decision_against_to_strike_him_off/


The Facebook page had reached 892 by 13/1/13, signed by patients and colleagues.

View some of the comments: Comments from Facebook

Many letters from well-wishers and those who believed strongly that the outcome was a severe miscarriage of justice sent to the MPTS, William Hague, Jeremy Hunt etc. etc. the reply was: ‘The MPTS is an independent body and should remain so’.

Selected pertinent points from a few of the letters. View: Letters
 
2013 January 24
‘38 degrees campaigns by you’ launched.

http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/encourage-the-mpts-gmc-to-allow-dr-keilloh-to-return-to-work

By January 30 there were 500 signatures.
 
2013 January 26
Article in The Sun newspaper accuses Public Interest Lawyer, Phil Shiner, of ‘Tank Chasing’ (quote Tom Newton Dunn, political editor Sun: ‘anti-war lawyers earn £2m..victims get £6k’)
 
2013 February 14
Having forwarded to the MPTS copies of the many letters he had received from his constituents, William Hague received a reply from MPTS stressing its independence.
It states again that ‘the role of the MPTS is to protect patients and public confidence in the profession’ (none of which we believe to have been compromised). In spite of ‘stating that his clinical practice since the events in Iraq in 2003 was not in question’ they found that ‘his fitness to practice was impaired’ and that ‘the most serious sanction was necessary’.

This became a standard reply to many of the letters that were sent. View: Letters 11-13

2013 March 12
A reply from the information access officer at the GMC refusing to disclose that Phil Shiner was the person responsible for reporting Derek to the GMC for fitness to practise. What did they have to hide? It was common knowledge. View: Letters 15
 
2013 March
Mohammed Kassim Al-Byati was suspended for one year by GMC.

"Complicit in acts of torture": ‘Saddam doctor suspended but will be back working in NHS in a year. The panel heard evidence the doctor knew that some prisoners he treated had been tortured, and it was likely that they would be tortured again’:

View: www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/doctor-who-worked-saddam-husseins-1738226#ixzz2uuoTAid3

And: http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/ipswich_panel_suspended
_doctor_who_was_complicit_in_saddam_hussein_s_brutal_regime_1_1968185


Compare these two cases: Derek Keilloh is struck off while Al-Byati is merely suspended for one year.
What happened to equity and consistency?
 
2013 April
*** Northallerton local hand signed petition taken to Parliament by Rt Hon William Hague.
www.darlingtonandstocktontimes.co.uk/news/10356678.Supporters_of_struck_off_Northallerton_doctor_hand_in_petition_to_Parliament/?ref=ar
 
2013 April
We discovered that the MPTS/GMC organisation had been undergoing a period of consultation during Dr Keilloh’s FTP hearing: View: Point to Consider 7
Why had we not been told? Who did know? Was it public knowlege? Why were our criticisms and questions not properly answered?
For more details on this view: Future of adjudication

To access the consultation document: www.gmc-uk.org/The_future_of_adjudication___rules.pdf_48726068.pdf
 
2013 May 30
Article in the Daily Mail re: ‘Phil Shiner getting rich by suing the British Gov. for compensation for war victims’ by Richard Littlejohn.

Article at: www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2333546/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-He-comedian-hes-certainly-having-laugh-Phil-Shiner-The-Great-Human-Rights-Swindle.html
 
2013 June 11
The reply from Department of Health regarding the petition presented to Parliament by William Hague states that ‘The Department is developing the legislation to formally set up the MPTS in co-production with the GMC. The legislation will make the necessary changes to the Medical Act 1983, through an Order under s60 of the Health Act 1999’.
‘This will be debated in both the Commons and the Lords’.
 
2013 September
Contact from Helen Bright highlighting her petition: Doctors for Justice – a petition demanding Confidential Enquiry into deaths of 100 doctors who died whilst being investigated by the General Medical Council (depressions and suicides.)
 
2013 September 10
The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), announce that there will be ‘Further investigation into death of Baha Mousa’. ‘IHAT is responsible for reviewing and investigating allegations of serious historic abuse, has completed a pre-investigative assessment of the available evidence and will, with the specialist guidance of the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA), work to establish and pursue new lines of enquiry.’
 
2013 December 2
Article by Bob Bury ‘Is the GMC fit for purpose?’ in ‘Hospital Dr’.
View the article: www.hospitaldr.co.uk/blogs/bob-bury/is-the-gmc-fit-for-purpose
 
2013 December 15
Article in Sunday Telegraph by Ben Farmer,
“Iraq and the futile quest for ‘justice’ ’’, pointing out how Phil Shiner has been involved in the IHAT investigation - alleging that he has brought most of the cases but that there was insufficient evidence to support many of them, resulting in a huge waste of time and money.

View the article: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10517784/Iraq-abuse-investigation-just-one-soldier-fined-in-three-years.html
 
2014 April
More articles after the collapse of the Al Sweady Inquiry:

'Flimsy abuse claims against British soldiers could tie up MoD for years, it is feared' -
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10714972/Flimsy-abuse-claims-against-British- soldiers-could-tie-up-MoD-for-years-it-is-feared.html

'Soldiers' Iraqi accusers repeatedly lied under oath, al-Sweady inquiry told' -
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/apr/16/iraqis-lied-al-sweady-inquiry-soldiers

'Iraqis made up torture claims to get payouts: It was a conspiracy says MoD' -
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2606418/Iraqis-torture-claims-payouts-It-conspiracy-says-MoD.html

'Lawyer Phil Shiner's Public Interest Lawyers are representing Iraqi witnesses accused of fabricating claims that prisoners were tortured'

We have been told that the written Iraqi witness statements presented by Phil Shiner PIL to the Al Sweady Inquiry are almost word for word the same as the witness statements he presented at Derek Keilloh's Fitness to Practice hearing. If this is the case, how much credibility should they now be given? We want this to be investigated.

2014
There have been numerous cases reported in the press alleging that the GMC/MPTS have made mistakes over judgments and sanctions, or not properly investigated. It works both ways…
e.g. cases not properly investigated at Mid Staffordshire Foundation NHS Trust. According to The Daily Telegraph an audit by the Professional Standards Authority found that 22 cases out of 100 were mishandled by the GMC and failed to come before the disciplinary panel when they should have done. According to the Daily Telegraph, 25/11/2013, 750 doctors and surgeons have been allowed to continue to work until their fitness to practice hearing in spite of having been convicted in courts of law for crimes which have included taking indecent photographs of a child, drugs trafficking and grievous bodily harm. View:
http://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t8592-hundreds-of-convicted-doctors-still- practising
 
2014 March

Nearly 2,000 signatures on the 38 degrees petition.

News from William Hague that the debate setting up the legislation behind the GMC and MPTS is scheduled to take place sometime during the next Parliamentary session. It will now be a new bill rather than simply amending the Medical Act of 1983.

‘..following discussions with the GMC a decision was taken not to proceed with the Adjudication Section 60 Order but instead to include measures to achieve the same effect in a bill in the forthcoming parliamentary session.’

The Draft Regulation of Health and Social Care Professionals Bill should soon be coming to Parliament. The Law Commission have made recommendations to the new draft bill: http://lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/publications/Healthcare-professions.htm

We note that they recommend a right to have a hearing within a reasonable time; they recognise that the costs of an appeal to a higher court is not reasonable especially when the appellant's income has just been removed; and question if enough guarantees exist to exclude any legitimate doubt about impartiality. They note that there are some concerns that the Office of Health Professions Adjudicator has been abolished. However they do not recommend that there should be any changes to these areas, and they do not recommend that the criminal standard of proof should replace the present civil standard of proof.

The 38% petition is still open – please sign in support of Dr Keilloh:
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/support-Derek-Keilloh

View: Comments from the 38° Campaign

QuestionsThis documents shows the many questions we are asking about this case and surrounding events. You may also have questions. We would like some answers.

Although the GMC/MPTS had been going through a 'consultation period', many of those who wrote asking questions did not have them answered but received 'blanket' replies.
See: Letters 11-14


Many of the letters since early 2013 have asked for a review of the case, but it is only this month that the MPTS have told us that ‘the MPTS has no legal power to undertake any review of its decisions’

 
2014 September
The draft bill has not yet come to Parliament and Jeremy Hunt has said it will give more time for it to be thoroughly discussed and to get it right.
The GMC is reviewing their 'indicative sanctions guidance and the role of apologies and warnings'. You can take part in the consultation on the GMC website. We are concerned that the consultation only focusses on sanctions against doctors, making these sanctions more rigorous, but does not look at the process which arrives at the judgement.
View: The GMC sanctions guidance review
View: How we would like to see the law change.
 
2014 December 17

The Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, made a statement in Parliament on the report into the Al-Sweady Inquiry.
Find it in column 1407 at:
  http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141217/debtext/141217-0001.htm 
 
2014 December 18

Daily Telegraph:
'Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary has announced that the lawyers who brought the charges in the Al Sweady Inquiry should make "an unequivocal apology" to the soldiers whose reputations "they attempted to traduce" '

The Guardian: 'In a Commons statement, Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, described these allegations as “shameful and despicable”, and criticised Phil Shiner, the Iraqis’ lawyer, for making claims that turned out to be baseless...'
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/dec/17/al-sweady-inquiry-uk-troops-mistreated-iraqi-prisoners-not-murder

The Times: 'Human rights lawyers falsely accused British soldiers of war crimes in a “shameful” attempt to use the legal system to attack and impugn the military, the defence secretary said yesterday. Michael Fallon demanded an apology from two law firms after a £30 million inquiry into alleged battlefield murder, mutilation and torture found that Iraqi witnesses had lied systematically. The figure included £5.6 million in lawyers’ fees.

“It is now beyond doubt that those allegations were without foundation,” the minister said in an angry speech before parliament. He reserved particular criticism for Phil Shiner, a leading member of Public Interest Lawyers, who made the first claims of war crimes.

“I challenge him and the other lawyers involved to issue an unequivocal apology to the soldiers whose reputations were traduced, and to the taxpayers who have had to pay the costs of exposing these lies,” Mr Fallon said.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority is investigating possible breaches of professional standards by Public Interest Lawyers and a second company, Leigh Day.'
 
2014 December 21
It is now two years since the MPTS erased Derek Keilloh from the Register.
Phil Shiner reported him to the GMC as being 'unfit to practice'
The Al Sweady Inquiry has collapsed from 'lack of credible evidence'. Phil Shiner's 'Public Interest Lawyers' (PIL) played a major role.
We had heard that there was an uncanny similarity between some of the Iraqi witness statements presented during the Baha Mousa Inquiry, and the Al-Sweady Inquiry, even though the latter was about a different event.
We noticed that the Iraqi witness statements at the original MOD courtmarshal were changed by the time they were presented by Phil Shiner at the Baha Mousa Inquiry, but when we went back to verify we discovered that they had disappeared from the www.  

Although it was originally addressed to the MPTS/GMC, we will now be sending the 38% petition to Parliament, probably after the general election. William Hague our MP could take it now but as a member of the cabinet he cannot speak about it when it is presented.He is stepping down so we will ask our new MP to present it. We have had a meeting with William Hague who has given us advice about revised wording for the petition. We are now saying that:
  • Removing Derek Keilloh from the Medical Practitioners register was a travesty of justice.
  • It was not in the public interest to erase a very good and well-loved family GP.
  • That the judgement should have been made ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’, not ‘on the balance of probabilities’
  • and not on reasons of supposed public interest rather than clinical failing.
  • That the complaint was made by lawyers acting for Iraqi families, from a war zone ten years ago, rather than from his NHS patients who are the people who have suffered from his erasure.
  • That it is unfair that an erased doctor can only make an appeal within 28 days of being struck off, when he has just been deprived of his income, no longer has financial support for legal affairs, and is still in shock.
  • That the Professional Standards Authority only exists to protect patients and will only investigate cases which they believe have been too lenient, there is no equivalent body to support those who believe that the sanction has been too severe, prejudiced or faulty.
  • That witness statements made on behalf of the Iraqi nationals (by PIL) were accepted without the opportunity for cross-examination.
  • That the Al-Sweady Inquiry collapsed due to a lack of convincing evidence (presented by PIL) therefore that
  • the Iraqi witness statements presented at the Baha Mousa Inquiry and the Al-Sweady Inquiry should be compared and investigated.
If you have signed the petition as it was originally worded and do not wish your signature to remain on it, please let us know at bromley.nicholls@gmail.co.uk.
 
2016 January 18
Here we are a year later, we have not given up and at last we feel we are getting somewhere. Our new MP Rishi Sunak is being very helpful and obtaining the Iraqi detainees witness statements for us when he can. We are doing the research ourselves.
The Iraq Historic Allegations Team are very much in the media at the present time. They are researching if allegations which have been made against British soldiers in cases other than this one are true. The Baha Mousa Inquiry found that in this case the detainees were illegally abused during their 'conditioning', we are not disputing that. However, Derek Keilloh still maintains that he was not aware that it was happening.

Sign the petition at: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/support-Derek-Keilloh

The changes in the law that we were expecting have happened, but not as we would have wished, not far enough. Here are some of them:

From the MPTS website:
In March 2015 the UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament and the Privy Council approved a Section 60 Order amending the Medical Act 1983, introducing a number of changes to help improve the running of MPTS hearings.

The key change that will apply to hearings concluding on or after 31 December 2015 is:
The GMC will have a right of appeal against decisions made by MPTS tribunals. Doctors already have a right of appeal to the High Court in England and Wales, Court of Session in Scotland or High Court of Northern Ireland.

The key changes that will apply to hearings starting on or after 31 December 2015 are:
The MPTS will also have the power to run hearings with a legally qualified chair. In such circumstances, a legal assessor will not be present.
The MPTS will be placed on a statutory footing, meaning that it will no longer exist solely as a committee of the GMC but will have its own place in the law. This ensures clearer separation between the GMC’s investigation function and the MPTS’s adjudication function.

More details here: http://www.gmc-uk.org/S60_Consultation_outcome_report.pdf_62959778.pdf?dm_i=2SYE,2NI2,1D0JE5,7MZL,1
 
 
2016 May

Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) was acting for the Iraqi families when he reported Derek to the GMC for fitness to practice. PIL has been under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) since the collapse of the Al Sweady Public Inquiry for 'lack of credible evidence'. See 2014 April above. The Ministry of Defence presented a dossier of allegations against Phil Shiner to the SRA. See: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/phil-shiner-interview-a-righter-of-wrongs-in-iraq-or-the-worst-kind-of-ambulance-chaser-10262065.html
We understand that he himself will now face a tribunal for 'professional misconduct'.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3527406/Could-lawyer-hounded-British-troops-struck-Firm-referred-disciplinary-tribunal-allegations-professional-misconduct.html


There are currently 3193 signatures on the petition which will be presented to Parliament and a copy sent to the GMC and MPTS shortly.
 
2016 July

The petition of nearly 3,500 signatures was presented to Parliament by our MP Rishi Sunak on the same day that Theresa May became our new Prime Minister.

Phil Shiner has asked for privacy for his tribunal. A privilege he did not afford to Derek.
 
2016 August


The Ministry of Defence have announced that they will review all cases brought by Phil Shiner which have tarnished the reputation of army personel. We are asking that Derek's case be included.
We have complained against Phil Shiner to the Solicitors Regulation Authority and they have asked for documentary evidence to substantiate our claims so that they may include our complaints in their investigations.
Phil Shiners firm PIL has been forced to close due to the withdrawal of their contract to undertake legal aid cases.

http://www.hospitaldr.co.uk/blogs/bob-bury/gmc-review-verdict-former-army-doctor-derek-keilloh

The GMC/MPTS are still legally unable to review Derek Keilloh's case.
 

 
8 December 2016

The Solicitors Regulation Authority will be bringing allegations against Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing to be held 23 January 2017 – 17 February 2017.
http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/solicitor-check/124775.article?Decision=2016-03-04

Phil Shiner has admitted to some of the charges against him and has said that he expects that he will be ‘struck off’ on the grounds of unprofessional conduct.

The Law society Gazette 8 December 2016 states:
·         ‘Shiner has admitted encouraging and authorising unsolicited direct approaches to potential clients arising out of the 2004 'battle of Danny Boy' 
·         ‘Shiner also admitted acting without integrity when authorising his firm to enter an agreement in June 2015 paying Z to change his evidence to the  Al-Sweady inquiry. Shiner admitted a lack of integrity in further improperly presenting changed evidence from Z to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
·         ‘Shiner said he acted recklessly when making allegations at a 2008 press conference that the British Army had unlawfully killed, tortured and mistreated Iraqi civilians.
https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/phil-shiner-faces-strike-off-as-he-admits-recklessness-and-lack-of-integrity/5059109.article

Telegraph 8 December 2016: ‘Iraq human rights lawyer Phil Shiner faces being struck off after admitting recklessness over Army abuse claims’:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/08/iraq-human-rights-lawyer-phil-shiner-faces-struck-admittingrecklessness/

The case against Philip Joseph Shiner and John Dickinson of PIL is due to come before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on 23 January 2017 – 17 February in Court 1

Phil Shiner was instrumental in bringing Derek Keilloh before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service for fitness to practice (mainly on the accusation of lying). We believe that Derek was ‘struck off’ the register as a direct result of Phil Shiner manipulating the evidence against him, and also of manipulating the press against him prior to the hearing.

Phil Shiner has himself already admitted (see above) to:
  • ‘acting without integrity when authorising his firm to … pay…to change his evidence.’
  • and ‘admitted a lack of integrity in further improperly presenting changed evidence’
  • and ‘acting recklessly when making allegations at a press conference’
Although what he has admitted to happened after Derek Keilloh’s FIT hearing, there is no proof that he had not already ‘acted without integrity’, ‘changed evidence’ and ‘acted recklessly when making allegations to the press’. At what point in time did Phil Shiner begin to act unprofessionally?

The GMC/MPTS are still legally unable to review Derek Keilloh's case.
The Government are not legally able to press for Derek’s case to be reviewed.

 
 
2 February 2017

During the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing twenty two of the twenty four charges against Phil Shiner were proven beyond all reasonable doubt (the criminal standard of proof). This morning he was declared dishonest and was 'struck off' on the grounds of professional misconduct:

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2017/feb/02/iraq-human-rights-lawyer-phil-shiner-disqualified-for-professional-misconduct

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2017/feb/02/phil-shiner-steep-fall-from-grace-leading-uk-human-rights-lawyer-iraq

We expect that criminal proceedings against him will follow. We believe that he brought the case against Derek Keilloh in order to raise his profile even further before he continued to make further claims against the British Army. Phil Shiner was the only person to benefit from this action - Derek, his family and his patients were the victims. 
 
 
7 February 2017

On Sunday 5 February, after contacts from several reporters wanting to know if they would now review Derek's case, a spokesman for the  General Medical Council said: ‘We carried out a thorough and independent investigation into the allegations that we received about Dr Keilloh. That case relied on a substantial body of witness evidence, including the testimony of several medical experts.
For that reason we don’t believe the panel’s decision to erase Dr Keilloh from the medical register is called into question by Mr Shiner’s professional conduct. However, if Dr Keilloh feels that he has grounds to challenge that decision, he should apply to the Courts for an appropriate order.’

We ask: if that 'substantial body of evidence' was supplied by Phil Shiner, had it already been manipulated and embellished?
Also, as the 'the testimony of several medical experts' was not all directed against Derek, did the GMC choose who they wanted to believe. Because of the enormous amount of prejudice before Derek's hearing, we suspect that the decision to strike him off had already been made.
We are of the opinion that, based on the huge amount of support Derek is now being given since Phil Shiners erasure, in the eyes of the public his name is already cleared. Thanks you all.
 
Conclusion - written in 2013
We are shocked by the unacceptable inhumane treatment that caused the tragic death of Baha Mousa, and severe injury to the other detainees. The behaviour of the guards was completely contrary to our beliefs and ethics. We do not condone torture or violence of any kind. Reading the witness statements and transcripts has been deeply disturbing.

The original Iraqi victim witness statements make grim reading as presented by Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers. However, witness statements from both sides, both written and verbal under cross examination have varied and changed over time – from court martial to Public Inquiry into Fitness to Practise Hearing (FTP). It is difficult to know where the truth lies. At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service FTP hearing written statements were accepted as facts without opportunity for cross questioning, making the truth even more difficult to determine. Dr Keilloh is punished for consistently telling what he perceives to be the truth, and for sticking tenaciously to the same story.

We believe that Dr Keilloh is not and has never been lying about knowing what was happening in the detention centre; that he is not and has never been complicit in a ‘cover up’ about the abuse. He was a young, unprepared doctor thrown into a stressful and traumatic environment, where he understandably focused on using his medical skills to deal with the immediate situation.

Dr Derek Keilloh can apply to the General Medical Council to be replaced on the register five years after he was erased from it. That will be early in 2018.
When he does so we understand that he will have to prove that his skills as a doctor are up to date, but also 'he will need to show insight and remorse for what he did.'

He maintains that he has told the truth.
We have asked the MPTS to review this case but they tell us they have no legal powers to conduct a review.

We believe that the panel's findings were questionable, but also that sanction was too harsh and unbalanced even on the basis of their findings.


What a loss to the NHS...

 
February 2018 - Changes which have taken place since we started campaigning:
  • Professor Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) for professional misconduct in the Al-Sweady Inquiry. In a prosecution brought by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA); the Tribunal found allegations of misconduct when representing claims against British soldiers during the Al-Sweady public inquiry - including acting dishonestly - proven to the criminal standard of proof. https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/news/press/shiner-strike-off-sdt-february-2017.page
  • The GMC and MPTS FTP processes have recently been reviewed in the light of the distress they have caused to doctors and the number of suicides there have been as a consequence. They have admitted that they need to change, in their words: “We want to deal with complaints faster and to become a more responsive and effective regulator for both patients and the profession. However, while we have been able to make some changes we are prevented from doing more at the moment because our legislation is outdated and no longer fit for purpose”.
  • The army has reviewed the standard of how well or otherwise they prepare their personnel to go into war zones and have made changes. In a letter to us they thanked Derek for the contribution he made during his tour in Basra.
  • Despite finding himself without a means of income, a career taken from him, harm to his character, and suffering from low mood, did find Derek. In a relatively short time he has climbed the ladder in his new career; continuing to learn new skills and self-develop. He is valued for his intelligence and strong work ethic - an honest decent man of integrity with his self-esteem restored. He has changed this story of injustice to one of success, thanks not only to his own application but also to his stalwart supporters. 

We will shortly be closing down the 38degree campaign website
Thank you all.