Salé – The Criminal Chamber of the annexe of Salé’s Appeals Court decided on Monday to postpone the Gdim Izik case hearing. Those accused of participating in the tragic events related to the Gdim Izik camp dismantlement will now have to wait until January 23rd, 2017.The court decided to put off the hearing in order to allow the defense to prepare its case, to summon an involved individual who was out on bail, and to consider the petition relating to the right of victims’ families to constitute a civil party.The first session of the trial witnessed a significant presence of the families of the victims of these events, which claimed the lives of 11 members of the security forces and left 70 wounded.Several human rights associations, NGOs and independent national and international organizations observed the trial.On February 17, 2013, the Military Court of Rabat handed prison sentences ranging from life imprisonment to 30 years against the individuals involved in this case and who were sued for “forming a criminal gang,” “violence against the public forces, which led to death with premeditation and complicity.”On October 10th 2010, residents of the city of Laayoune erected a tented camp in the Gdim Izik region to defend legitimate social demands, mainly linked to housing and employment.According to a local source, the Moroccan authorities initiated a dialogue and presented a series of measures to gradually meet these demands. This initiative had not resolved the situation on the ground.The Moroccan authorities then decided to peacefully dismantle the camp in order to enforce compliance with the law and preserve public order.This intervention had given rise to violent attacks by small groups against the security forces with knives, stones and Molotov cocktails. Thereafter, clashes erupted in the city of Laayoune, where infrastructure and public property was set on fire and private property was sacked.The attacks claimed the lives of 11 people among the security forces, including one element from emergency services, and injured 70 others.
The three person tribunal panel chaired by Nicola Lucking heard British troops had been ambushed near Amarah by Iraqi insurgents in May 2004 in what became known as the Battle of Danny Boy.Soldiers took 20 of the dead for identification and nine captives. The bodies were released to families the next day and the captives were transferred to Iraqi police. However rumours soon began to circulate that many of the dead had been taken alive and then killed in British custody. Three years later, Mr Shiner was alerted to the allegations by a journalist and secured legal aid to bring a judicial review, which led to the Al-Sweady Inquiry. The claims were found to be based on “deliberate and calculated lies” from Iraqis, but not before 222 military witnesses had been hauled before the inquiry to relive the harrowing scenes of battle and its aftermath.The central London tribunal heard Mr Shiner acknowledged he would now be struck off for his misconduct, but claimed he was too unwell to attend the proceedings.The leading human rights lawyer has already admitted nine counts of behaving without integrity and a single account of acting recklessly, but faces more serious charges of acting dishonestly.As a hearing began in his absence, Andrew Tabachnik, counsel to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, said: “What is at the heart of Prof Shiner’s professional misconduct is a view on his part that the ends justified the means, that his work in the human rights field was of such moment that he was able to disregard the rules that apply to his fellow solicitors.“This prosecution is not about stopping solicitors representing unpopular clients. It’s about solicitors who think the ends justify the means and that the rules don’t apply to them.” Show more The court heard he alerted an Iraqi agent to try to find the families of those involved. Mazin Younis then used “cold calling” and “knocking doors” to try to drum up clients, in clear breach of the solicitors code of conduct. The court heard Mr Shiner then later tried to cover up the technique and Mr Younis changed his story to say he had at first found his clients for journalists.Mr Tabachnik said: “It’s most unfortunate having pursued allegations of cover up by the British Army that Prof Shiner has been caught engaging in his own cover up as to the professional misconduct which launched the Al Sweady inquiry in the first place.”The court heard Mr Younis also at one point alleged he had paid for Iraqis to come forward, though Mr Shiner faces no charges of paying for clients.The court also heard that when Mr Shiner was trying to gain legal aid, he failed to give the Legal Services Commission (LSC) contradictory statements from Iraqis which might have highlighted weaknesses in their allegations.Mr Tabachnik said: “The full picture would have given a very different overall impression of the merits of the case the LSC was being asked to fund.”He also failed to disclose a list showing that all the detainees were not innocent Iraqi civilians, but were members or supporters of the Mahdi Army Shia militia.Col James Coote, who was at the time a major commanding British troops during the battle, said the experience of his men facing baseless allegations had made him lose faith in the legal profession.In a statement read to the court, he said the allegations were “the most serious to be brought against the British Army since the Second World War and had a very serious effect on morale”.He said they had had led to “an extremely stressful and demoralising decade for me and other soldiers.”He added: “I and other military witnesses were placed under very great emotional strain as a consequence of the false allegations.”The court heard Mr Shiner had said he was too unwell to attend the proceedings.However Mr Tabachnik said he was in a state of “avoidance” and a medical report by Dr Andrew Mogg had shown he was fit to attend.The tribunal continues. A lawyer accused of hounding British troops with baseless allegations of torture and abuses in Iraq thought his work was so important he was above the rules, a disciplinary hearing has been told.Phil Shiner failed to attend the start of a professional standards hearing which heard he was in a state of “avoidance”, and “manoeuvring” to avoid appearing in person.The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard he made a series of “fundamental and basic failings” bringing the most serious accusations of abuses faced by British troops in decades, then tried to cover up his misconduct.His allegations of murder, mutilation and torture against Iraqi civilians caused serious damage to the morale and reputation of the Army and led to the five-year-long, £25m Al-Sweady public inquiry Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.