One of the three Leigh Day solicitors cleared of making false allegations of torture and murder of Iraqis by British troops, was not a ‘credible, honest or convincing witness’ one of the three tribunal members ruled.
At the end of a seven-week hearing, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal cleared Martyn Day, along with Sapna Malik and Anna Crowther in June of 19 charges, which all had denied.
But the full judgment (HERE), only published this week, revealed that one of the tribunal, a senior solicitor Richard Hegarty, had reservations about the evidence given by Day.
In the 214-page judgment, Hegarty said that Day ‘on numerous occasions’ had ‘failed to failed to give clear and succinct answers to straightforward questions’ and that his answers to questions during the hearing ‘contradicted statements he had made at the relevant time or did not accord with contemporaneous documents’.
Overall, the tribunal found the three had ‘actively investigated regulatory requirements, and tried to act in accordance with the rules’.
It said: ‘They were open in evidence about things they did, and why they did them, and were prepared to acknowledge where they would, with hindsight, have done things differently. The tribunal rejected the [SRA’s] general contention that [they] were the kind of people who put financial advantage above professional duty.’
The three had been charged with misconduct relating to their handling of allegations of torture and murder by British soldiers in the aftermath of the Battle of Danny Boy, during the Iraq war in May 2004.
The SRA has 21 days from the date of the judgment to lodge an appeal, while the SDT said that a date for the costs hearing in November, which will be held in public, will be published in due course.
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