ALDERSHOT - A British Air Force doctor on trial for refusing to go to Iraq because he thought the war was illegal said on Wednesday he believed the United States was the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany.
Australian-born Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith could face an unlimited jail sentence for disobeying an order to go to Iraq last year and four orders to prepare for his deployment, in the first British case of its kind.
British Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith (R) walks outside the Military Court in Aldershot, Hampshire, where he is being court marshalled for refusing to go to serve in Iraq, April 11, 2006. REUTERS/Stephen Hird
"As early as 2004 I regarded the United States to be on a par with Nazi Germany as regards its activities in the Gulf," he told the court.
Prosecutor David Perry asked: "Are you saying the U.S. is the moral equivalent of the Third Reich?" to which Kendall-Smith replied "That's correct."
The judge in the case has already ruled that orders for British troops to deploy to Iraq in 2005 were legal because the British presence was covered by a United Nations Security Council resolution passed after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Kendall-Smith has testified in his own defense as the only witness called in the case.
He said he initially tried to resign on learning he was being sent to Iraq, but later concluded it was his duty to remain in the Air Force and refuse the order.
"I love the Air Force today as much as the day I volunteered, sir," he said.
The case, before a civilian judge advocate and a panel of five officers, is expected to conclude later on Wednesday.
© Reuters 2006