The global tribunal said it would not open a full-scale investigation because UK authorities investigated the allegations.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor said she was dropping a preliminary investigation into alleged war crimes committed by British troops in Iraq, even though she had found a reasonable basis to believe they had committed atrocities .
The investigation never reached the level of a full investigation and Fatou Bensouda’s office concluded that British authorities had investigated the allegations.
The ICC only steps in when it finds that a state is unable or unwilling to take action against alleged atrocities.
In a final report, Bensouda wrote that his office had found a reasonable basis for believing that in 2003 British soldiers in Iraq committed the war crime of willful murder or murder against at least seven Iraqi detainees. They also believed that there were credible allegations of torture and rape.
“The preliminary examination revealed that there is a reasonable basis to believe that various forms of abuse have been committed by members of the British armed forces against Iraqi civilians in detention,” he said.
However, the UK has taken real steps to investigate the crimes itself, prosecutors have found.
In June, independent British investigators investigating allegations of war crimes in Iraq told the BBC that of the thousands of complaints they had investigated, all but one had been dismissed.
Despite this result, which Bensouda said deprived victims of justice, the ICC prosecutor concluded that the British authorities had not refused to investigate or prosecute and closed the ICC investigation.
The ICC has been criticized by Washington for opening a full-fledged investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by US troops on the territory of ICC member Afghanistan.
The government of US President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on Bensouda this year because of the investigation.
Last month, a report from Australian authorities said the country’s special forces killed 39 prisoners and unarmed civilians in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016, leading other countries to reconsider the behavior of their troops.
Australia has said 19 current and former soldiers will be fired for possible criminal charges.