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British Army 'waterboarded' suspects in 70s

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tags: torture, waterboarding



Evidence that the British army subjected prisoners in Northern Ireland to waterboarding during interrogations in the 1970s is emerging after one of the alleged victims launched an appeal against his conviction for murder.

Liam Holden became the last person in the United Kingdom to be sentenced to hang after being convicted in 1973 of the murder of a soldier, largely on the basis of an unsigned confession. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he spent 17 years behind bars.

The jury did not believe Holden's insistence that he made the confession only because he had been held down by members of the Parachute Regiment, whom he says placed a towel over his face before pouring water from a bucket over his nose and mouth, giving him the impression that he was drowning.

But now the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has referred Holden's case to the court of appeal in Belfast after unearthing new evidence, and because of doubts about "the admissibility and reliability" of his confession. The commission says it believes "there is a real possibility" his conviction will be quashed. After a preliminary hearing earlier this month, Holden's appeal was adjourned to the new year.
Read entire article at Guardian (UK)

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