Malcolm Kendall-Smith

Dual British/NZ citizen Flight Lieutenant Dr Malcolm Kendall-Smith in 2006 was found guilty on five counts of disobeying orders and was sentenced to eight months in prison and ordered to pay $20,000 in costs for refusing to serve in Iraq.

The doctor who was subsequently dismissed from the RAF, had already served two tours of duty in Iraq but refused to return in June 2005 on the basis that the invasion was illegal and that he therefore did not have to obey orders to serve there. In court, Kendall-Smith began his statement by defining aggression as ‘the use of armed forces by a state against a sovereign state’s integrity’. He said that as a commissioned officer he was required ‘to consider each and every order’ and to consider their legality under domestic and international law. ‘I believe that the current occupation of Iraq is an illegal act and for me to comply with an act which is illegal would put me in conflict with both domestic and international law’.

In a statement outside the court at Aldershot in Hampshire, Kendall Smith’s defence lawyer said his client felt his actions were ‘totally justified. He would do the same thing again [and] will appeal against the conviction and the sentence.’

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