Dr. Derek Keilloh is to face a six week General Medical Council fitness to practice panel commencing 11 June 2012 for his role in the death of Baha Mousa.
Baha Mousa’s death at the hands of British forces on 15 September 2003 was the subject of a public inquiry under the chairmanship of Sir William Gage. The Inquiry published its report in September 2011. Baha Mousa died after three days of vicious abuse at Battle Group Main which was one of the bases of 1st Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (1QLR). Sir Gage’s report records that Baha Mousa sustained 93 different external injuries including “multiple bruises and grazes situated on the head, neck and torso and the upper and lower limbs.”
Dr. Keilloh was the Regimental Medical Officer at Battle Group Main and was responsible for the welfare of Baha Mousa and the other Iraqi civilians detained with him.
Evidence heard by the Baha Mousa Inquiry report gives rise to serious concerns about Dr. Keilloh’s conduct. In particular,
· After attempting to resuscitate Baha Mousa, Dr. Keilloh said that he had not noticed the extensive injuries evident on Baha Mousa’s body and had only noticed a small trace of dried blood under the nostril.
· Other (more junior) medics gave evidence that they drew Dr. Keilloh’s attention to injuries evident on Baha Mousa’s body and themselves noticed significant injuries. The position of the Victims in the Inquiry was that Keilloh must have known by that point that Baha Mousa had been the victim of a series of assaults.
· Dr. Keilloh was aware that the detainees, including Baha Mousa, were being hooded and they were kept in a building with no facilities and in considerable heat.
· After Baha Mousa’s death, two of the other detainees were brought to the Regimental Aid Post and examined by Dr. Keilloh. Both complained of having been assaulted by soldiers. Each had sustained injuries and one was suffering with a large inguinal hernia which had been noticed by some of the guards. It is difficult to understand how Dr. Keilloh could have failed to observe that these detainees had been assaulted and, if he did so fail, this was a serious failure. Dr. Keilloh administered pain relief medication and returned both men to the detention facility.
· Dr. Keilloh did not report what he knew to anyone in the chain of command.
· Keilloh told a fellow 1QLR officer the following morning that one of the Detainees had died and the others were in a “shit state”.
· Although he was the treating doctor at the time of death, Dr. Keilloh never signed a death certificate. He told another doctor who did sign the death certificate that the death had occurred from “cardiorespiratory arrest after being taken into custody”.
Public Interest Lawyers act for Baha Mousa’s father, Colonel Daoud Mousa.
Phil Shiner, Solicitor of Public Interest Lawyers said today:
“I was shocked when I heard this doctor’s evidence. He had no regard at all for Baha Mousa’s wellbeing. If the GMC conclude that he is fit to practice, in the light of this most compelling of evidence against him, I will eat my copy of the three volumes of Sir William Gage’s report”