A SOLDIER whose life was devastated by bogus war crimes charges has accused the lawyers who hounded him – and thousands of his comrades – of “borderline treason”.
Ex-sergeant Brian Wood has backed a new law to end witch-hunts, after revealing for the first time how his eldest son Bailey was bullied and reduced to tears over the made-up claims that his dad murdered innocent children in Iraq.
The war hero, who won a Military Cross at the Battle of Danny Boy in 2004, was fully exonerated ten years later when a judge led enquiry found the claims of murder, mutilation and prisoner abuse were the “product of deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility”.
“I felt like I was fighting a harder battle on my home soil than I was in Iraq,” said Wood, 39, who served in the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment.
“My eldest son was at school, 13-years-old. The allegations that were made against us were being spoken about during playtime.
“Bailey was in his room crying, I went up to see him, and he said, ‘Dad, they’re saying that you’re a murderer of children and innocent people’. It’s tough.”
Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer said: “For me this was one of the greatest injustices inside or outside the military. Those experiences you’ve recounted are totally unacceptable.”
Field Marshal Charles Guthrie, a former head of the armed forces, General Sir Nick Parker, a former commander of land forces whose son lost a leg in a Taliban blast, ex-defence secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve– all said the law was unnecessary and would put soldiers in danger.
“This bill would be a stain on the country’s reputation,” they wrote in a joint letter to the PM.
“It would increase the danger to British soldiers if Britain is perceived as reluctant to act in accordance with long-established international law.”
The MoD said: “This vital piece of legislation will protect military personnel and veterans from vexatious claims. Pausing this bill will continue to leave our soldiers vulnerable to vexatious persecution. The way to demonstrate support for our armed forces is to make progress with this important legislation.”
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