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Ipswich: Doctor ‘complicit in acts of torture’, tribunal hears

PUBLISHED: 14:39 01 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:39 01 March 2013

Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road.

Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road.

A DOCTOR who saw up to 400 patients at Ipswich Hospital had previously been involved in Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime, a medical tribunal has found.

Mohammed Kassim Al-Byati had been working in the UK since January 2000 and completed a stint as a consultant rheumatologist at the Heath Road hospital in 2009.

This week, a fit to practise panel held by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) found that Mr Al-Byati had carried out medical treatments on camp detainees in Iraq between December 1992 and March 1994. The tribunal found that the Iraqi doctor was “part of the machinery” of the regime.

The panel has found that all the allegations against the 47-year-old have been proven and will now consider whether the doctor should be struck off the medical register.

The doctor worked at Ipswich Hospital in 2009 and it is thought he would have seen up to 400 patients, carrying out twice-weekly clinics for people with conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and musculo-skeletal problems.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said the doctor was employed as a locum through a locum agency and that the hospital’s understanding was that the doctor had been free to work and cleared by the General Medical Council.

The medical panel this week heard evidence that the doctor visited camps and prisons, and whilst administering treatment, knowing that some prisoners he treated had sustained injuries as a result of torture.

It was also established that Mr Al-Byati knew it was likely that the prisoners would be tortured again and as a consequence of his involvement he was “complicit in acts of torture”.

On Tuesday, after the allegations were read out to Mr Al-Byati, who is suspended pending the outcome of the tribunal, he said: “I deny everything.”

He told the panel he had been a junior doctor and was scared of what would happen to him and his family if he did not do as he was told and said he did not know the people he was treated had been tortured.

It is not alleged that Mr Al-Byati witnessed any acts of torture first hand and there was “no criticism” of the doctor’s clinical performance in this country.

The tribunal is expected to conclude this week.

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