Aegis responds to Trophy video

Aegis Defence Sevices has issued an official statement on the trophy video circulating on the internet.

Aegis Defence Services Ltd is aware that a compilation of video clips of what appears to be shooting incidents in Iraq, entitled ‘Aegis PSD’ and dubbed with music, is circulating on the internet and has been reported in the press. AEGIS has established a formal board of enquiry, in cooperation with the US military authorities, to investigate whether the footage has any connection with the company and, should this prove to be the case, under what circumstances any incident took place. (Aegis website)

The story has been picked up by a couple more media outlets:

Security experts in Baghdad who have seen the film said yesterday that it was most likely shot at least a year ago when there were far fewer controls on the activities of thousands of private security guards employed by the Pentagon to protect contract workers, escort goods and defend installations such as Baghdad International Airport. (The Times)

It couldn’t happen now of course. Or could it? The Times goes on to note:

One British security guard currently working in Iraq for another company said that he had witnessed at least two instances of innocent Iraqis being killed by poorly-trained defence contractors who left the bodies by the side of the road and drove off.

The Washington Post notes that the US military are looking into the matter.

Ray O’Hanlon at the New York-based Irish Echo, who has been on the Aegis contract story from the begnning, also has a useful update.

The Pat Finucane Center said in a statement this week that it was not yet possible to ascertain exactly which private security contractors were involved in the video clips.

"But two issues are of note from our perspective. Aegis has been tasked by the Pentagon to co-ordinate all private security transports in Iraq. Either the company was unaware of the incidents in question, which should raise concerns about how the contract is being fulfilled, or Aegis was aware of the allegations and chose to do nothing," the statement said.

"The second issue concerns the response of the British Foreign Office (FCO) to the allegations. It seems strange that allegations that British citizens are involved in human rights abuses should be a matter for a foreign government," the statement added. (Irish Echo)







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