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Ipswich: Panel suspended doctor who was ‘complicit’ in Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime

PUBLISHED: 09:09 07 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:24 07 March 2013

Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road.

Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road.

A DOCTOR who was “complicit in acts of torture” under Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime has been suspended from the medical register.

Mohammed Kassim Al-Byati, who previously worked as a locum at Ipswich Hospital in 2009, has been suspended for up to 12 months following a fit to practise hearing by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

The panel 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, who worked as a junior, was “part of the machinery” of a “dictatorial, totalitarian regime.

Panel chairman Professor Michael Whitehouse said: “In view of the nature of its finding, the panel is satisfied that it is necessary for the protection of members of the public and is in the public interest to suspend Dr Al-Byati’s registration immediately.”

Mr Whitehouse noted that Dr Al-Byati’s behaviour had been controlled by a strict regime and that his actions were a result of compulsory military service.

The panel was concerned Dr Al-Byati had not shown more remorse for his actions and found that although his actions were out of his control, his conduct was unacceptable.

The medical panel 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.

The doctor worked at Ipswich Hospital in 2009 as a consultant rheumatologist 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.

Dr Al-Byati had denied the charges and said he had been “terrified” of what would happen to him if he did not do as he was told.

It had not been 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.

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