The evidence consists of documents and internal e-mails between military personnel regarding the alleged killings of 33 civilians in Afghanistan. Now, UK defence secretary Ben Wallace has been ordered by a court to provide an explanation as to why this evidence was not previously revealed in the court proceedings.
In the documents, one high-ranking officer expresses concern about “possibly a deliberate policy” to “engage and kill fighting-aged males on target even when they did not pose a threat.”
The ongoing court case into whether the killings had been investigated properly has been brought by Saifullah Yar. Four members of his family, including his father, two brothers, and a cousin, were killed by UK forces in an Afghanistan raid in February 2011.
In the e-mail discussions from the same day of the killings, seen by the Sunday Times, one British soldier asks for details of what had allegedly taken place in the Yar case.
The soldier mentions they had “heard rumours” of the “latest massacre”.
The following e-mail is a response by another solider, and contains military language. It is understood ‘A’ refers to an Afghan male, ‘B’ refers to a building, and ‘c/s’ refers to a soldier or multiple soldiers, and ‘AK’ refers to an AK-47 rifle.
The names of the officers and units have been made anonymous.
The replying solider said: “Basically, for what must be the 10th time in the last two weeks, when they sent a B back into the A to open the curtains (??) he re-appeared with an AK.
“Then when they walked back in to a different A with another B to open the curtains he grabbed a grenade from behind a curtain and threw it at the c/s.
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The official documents were released by the Ministry of Defence and obtained by The Times and BBC.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said the Yar family case had already been investigated by the Royal Military Police in Operation Northmoor.
They added: “These documents were considered as part of the independent investigations, which concluded there was insufficient evidence to refer the case for prosecution.
“The Service Police and the Service Prosecuting Authority of course remain open to considering allegations should new evidence, intelligence, or information come to light.”
Other documents released reveal a review had taken place to examine a number of other killings between December 2010 and April 2011.
A Special Forces Major who carried out the examinations wrote to other officers to say “we are getting some things wrong, right now.”