The British army doctor who confirmed the death of Baha Mousa in Basra in 2003 was found by a tribunal on Sunday to have been “dishonest” about the injuries the Iraqi civilian received during his detention.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) ruled that Derek Keilloh, who now works as a general practitioner in northeastern England, was guilty of “misleading” and “dishonest” conduct following the 26-year-old hotel receptionist’s death.
Mousa was hooded, assaulted and held in stress positions along with nine other Iraqis following their detention by 1st Battalion the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (1QLR) in September 2003, an inquiry last year said.
The father of two died 36 hours after his arrest having sustained 93 separate injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose.
Keilloh was the senior medic on duty and maintained during a subsequent interview, court martial and a later public inquiry that when he found Mousa, he was unaware of any injuries other than old dried blood around his nose.
But the MPTS found that the doctor had been aware of the Iraqi’s injuries from his own observations and from information by other medical staff.
Keilloh subsequently failed to conduct an examination of the Iraqi’s body or to act to ensure the welfare of other civilian detainees, and also failed to notify a superior officer of what had happened, the tribunal found.
The MPTS will on Monday begin deliberating whether Keilloh is subsequently fit to practice as a doctor, with a decision due this week. If he is found unfit, it will assess whether he should be struck off the medical register.
Mousa’s death, which the army admitted had cast a “dark shadow” over its reputation, was determined to have resulted from his injuries and his weakened physical state caused by his mistreatment, the extreme heat and a lack of food and water.