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Army doctor struck off over death of Iraqi detainee Baha Mousa after failed resuscitation when he was severely beaten by soldiers
Dr Keilloh supervised failed resuscitation attempt to save life of Baha MousaHe showed 'repeated dishonesty' in claiming not to have seen injuries
22:30 GMT, 21 December 2012
Dr Derek Keilloh was struck off the medical register today over the death of Iraqi detainee Baha Mousa
The career of a GP was in ruins today after he was struck off for failing to report details of an appalling war crime while working as a young Army medic in Iraq.
Dr Derek Keilloh was said to have done everything possible to revive Iraqi detainee Baha Mousa, who had suffered fatal injuries at the hands of British soldiers.
But the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service ruled that he should have blown the whistle to senior officers about what went on.
Dr Keilloh looked down and closed his eyes as the decision was announced at the end of a marathon 47-day hearing.
There had been a campaign to save the 38-year-old father-of-two who has become a popular and respected family doctor in North Yorkshire since leaving the military.
Patients had begun an online petition in support of Dr Keilloh being allowed to continue to work, describing him as ‘fantastic…dedicated and trusted’.
A captain and regimental medical officer of the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, Dr Keilloh was said to have been an inexperienced young medic working in the chaos of Basra when he was called to examine Mr Mousa in 2003.
An innocent hotel receptionist, Mr Mousa had been arrested in September 2002 as part of an Army crackdown by soldiers who believed, wrongly, that he was an insurgent involved in the murder of four of their colleagues.
Mr Mousa was hooded with a sandbag, handcuffed and appallingly beaten so that he collapsed after sustaining 93 injuries, including broken ribs.
Struck off: Dr Derek Keiloh is seen leaving the GMC in Manchester, where he was removed from the medical register
Dr Keilloh was about to finish his shift when he was called to the detention area and told the prisoner had collapsed and fallen. Soldiers were standing near the body and he began a desperate 20 minute attempt to resuscitate Mr Mousa.
Despite the extensive injuries, Dr Keilloh claimed he saw only dried blood around Mr Mousa’s nose while giving mouth-to-mouth and CPR but the panel ruled he must have seen other wounds and had a duty to act.
Iraqi hotel receptionist Baha Mousa was beaten to death by British soldiers in Basra in 2003
In a damning ruling, the MPTS questioned Dr Keilloh’s honesty after he lied to Army investigators about the injuries and stuck to his story in subsequent public hearings.
The panel recognised Dr Keilloh had not harmed Mr Mousa and did all he could in a ‘highly charged, chaotic’ setting.
But it said he had not done enough to protect his patients and other detainees from further mistreatment, breaking a ‘fundamental tenet’ of the medical profession.
The MPTS found Dr Keilloh guilty of misconduct and announced ‘with regret’ yesterday that the only ‘appropriate sanction’ was banning him from working as a doctor because of the ‘repeated dishonesty’ in claiming not to have seen the injuries to Mr Mousa.
Dr Brian Alderman, the panel chairman, said it was an ‘unfortunate case’ but an ‘unambiguous signal’ must be sent out about conduct unbefitting a doctor.
Mr Mousa’s father, Colonel Daoud Mousa, welcomed the decision, declaring: ‘I wanted the doctor to be banned for life. He did not have humanity in his heart when he was supposed to be caring for my son.’
Ahmed Al Matairi, who was also detained and beaten, described hearing the final words of Mr Mousa, a widower and father of two, as he was beaten.
He said: ‘I am innocent. Blood! Blood! I am going to die. My children are going to become orphans.’
An official report into the crime named 19 soldiers who assaulted Mr Mousa and other detainees. General Sir Mike Jackson, a former head of the Army, said the incident remained a ‘stain on the character of the British Army’.
Beaten: Hotel receptionist Baha Mousa, pictured with his family, was beaten to death while in Army custody in Basra in 2003
Seven soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, including the battalion’s former commanding officer, Colonel Jorge Mendonca, faced allegations relating to the mistreatment of Mr Mousa and other Iraqi detainees at a court martial in 2006-07.
But the 20million trial ended with them all cleared apart from Corporal Donald Payne, who became the first member of the Armed Forces convicted of a war crime when he pleaded guilty to inhumanely treating civilians.
Dr Keilloh, who qualified in medicine at the University of Aberdeen, has 28 days to appeal against the decision in the High Court.