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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said it would examine claims in a BBC documentary that British soldiers might have committed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The programme, aired late yesterday, includes testimony from police investigators, who told the broadcaster that the government covered up killings of civilians by British troops.

The broadcaster said it had spoken to 11 British detectives, who “found credible evidence of war crimes,” in a joint investigation by BBC Panorama and the Sunday Times.

“The BBC Panorama findings concerning alleged war crimes by UK troops could be highly relevant to the office’s ongoing work and examination,” the office of the Prosecutor of the ICC, based in The Hague, said in a emailed statement.

“The office will independently and objectively assess the findings in accordance with the applicable legal criteria under the Rome Statute – the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court,” it said.

One allegation is that British Special Forces covered up the killing of four young Afghans in 2012, the BBC said.
Other allegations concern the torture and killing of detainees in Iraq.

The Ministry of Defence denied that it had tried to hide any allegations, noting that British military prosecutors had decided to take no action after investigating several cases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The ministry said it had passed the latest claims to military police and prosecutors, “who remain open to considering allegations”.

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