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15 Feb 07. The highest-ranking British serviceman in recent history to face a court martial was yesterday cleared of mistreating Iraqi civilians. Colonel Jorge Mendonca, MBE, 43, the former commander of the Queen’s Lancashire
Regiment, had been standing trial for five months for negligently performing a duty. But a judge yesterday ruled that there was no case to answer, as charges against Col Mendonca and four of his men were abandoned. It came on the 80th day of the trial, which army sources say will cost the taxpayer over £20m. Col Mendonca had been accused of failing to ensure his men did not mistreat Iraqi civilians detained in Basra in September 2003. It was alleged that some of the colonel’s men abused the Iraqis, keeping them hooded, cuffed and deprived of sleep, and beating them for failing to hold stress positions over a 36-hour period – pre-interrogation “conditioning”, which is banned under international law. One of the prisoners, Baha Musa, 26, a hotel receptionist, died. The prosecution had alleged that Col Mendonca did not do everything possible to ensure the detainees, arrested as suspected insurgents, were treated according to the Geneva Convention and the Laws of Armed Conflict. (Source: Scotsman)

09 Feb 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. A Second Lieutenant from 2nd Bn The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment died as a result of injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device in Basrah City on 5 Feb 07. A soldier from 1st Bn The Yorkshire Regiment died following a roadside bomb attack in Basrah City on 9 Feb 07. (MoD, 6 & 9 Feb 07.) UK deaths since the start of hostilities thus rose to 132 (six from natural causes, 39 accidentally, six from friendly fire and 81 killed in action). Plans for the closure of Shaibah Logistics Base continued, with 266 containers and 92 vehicles back-loaded during January 2007. (DLO News, February 2007.) The audited figures for the costs of Operations in Iraq for the years 2002/03 to 2005/06 totalled £4,053m. The estimate for 2006/07 is in the region of £860m. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 5 Feb 07.) Soldiers from 2 RIFLES were reportedly working successfully with the Iraqi Army and Police as OP SINBAD progressed. (MoD, 9 Feb 07.)
Comment: Some media reports claimed that 101 British troops had been killed in action in Iraq, with 31 deaths attributed to road accidents or natural causes. The breakdown shown above is DR&A’s summary of the causes of death as they have been reported. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0707, 12 Feb 07)

05 Feb 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. The audited figures for the costs of Operations in Afghanistan for the years 2001/02 to 2005/06 totalled £844m. The estimate for 2006/07 is in the region of £540m. (MA, 5 Feb 07.)
Royal Marines from M Company, 42 Commando secured a Taliban base of 25 compounds near the Kajaki hydro-electric dam. (MoD, 5 Feb 07.)
Since early 2006, 261 Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR) have been approved of which 108 have been delivered. (MA, 8 Feb 07.)
Comment: The forthcoming handover from 3 Commando Brigade to 12 Mechanised Brigade was outlined in DNA 07/06: a more detailed summary of the roulement is at page 3 of this DNA Issue. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0707, 12 Feb 07)

30 Jan 07. National Asset Register (NAS): Third Edition Published. HM Treasury published (30 Jan 07) the third edition of the NAS, earlier editions having been published on 24 Nov 97 and 19 Jul 01. At £93,385m, the MoD is deemed to be the Government Department with the largest asset base (28% of £337,104m). The NAR notes that the MoD has disposed of almost £2,000m worth of assets since 2000, including the Duke of York’s Barracks in Chelsea. HM Treasury regards the NAR as “an important tool for the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review” [which will set the Defence budget for 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11].
Comment: Defence constitutes Chapter 7 of the NAR, starting at page 239. The NAR can be accessed on the HM Treasury website (hm-treasury

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