26 Jan 2010

Peter Moore: I faced ‘false executions’

Home Affairs Correspondent

IT expert Peter Moore gives his first television interview about being subject to torture and mock executions while being held hostage in Iraq for two and a half years.

Speaking to Andy Davies from Channel 4 News Mr Moore said initially he and the four other hostages received harsh treatment, and faced mock executions

“We were blindfolded, chained and shackled and regularly beaten”, he said.

Although the treatment later improved, Mr Moore was “separated from the others very early on.”

The IT consultant, who was freed in December last year, said he got through the ordeal by imagining he was “walking the dog or riding his motorcycle.”

Peter Moore was kidnapped along with his four British security guards in Baghdad in May 2007.

The 36-year-old from Lincoln was installing asset tracing software at Iraq’s Finance Ministry when gunmen stormed the building taking the five men hostage.


Mr Moore paid tribute to his fellow hostages – three of whom, Jason Creswell, Jason Swindlehurst, Alec Maclachlan, were shot dead and their bodies returned to Britain last year. The Foreign Office believes the fourth man, Alan McMenemy, has also been killed.

“First of all I’m very grateful to Jason, Jason, Alec and Alan for their help and advice and the medical treatment I received following my abduction,” Mr Moore said.

“Certainly without their help and advice I definitely wouldn’t be stood here today.

“I’m also very grateful to the Foreign Office and Metropolitan Police for everything that they’ve done following my release, and all their help.

“And I’m very grateful to my friends and family for all the things that they’ve done, and obviously the people of Lincoln for remembering me and for doing as much as they could to try and get is released.

“Obviously there’s still one body left and I ask that that body is released immediately. As far as I can see there’s no reason to keep that.”

Mr Moore went on to say when news of his release came he thought he was going to be executed instead.

“In all honesty I didn’t believe them when they first said I was being released. I thought I was going to be executed,” he said.

“The first time I really believed it…was when someone from the Foreign Office walked up to me and said they were there to take me home.”

Mr Moore appeared in a proof of life video in February 2008 appealing for the freedom of Iraqi prisoners being held by coalition forces.

“All I want is to leave this place. I tell Gordon Brown the matter is simple: release their prisoners so we can go,” he said.


As the sporadic hostage videos were released the company which employed the four security guards eventually offered several million dollars for the release of the five men – offers which were turned down.

Reports suggest that an American decision to hand over a militia member to Iraqi authorities led to Mr Moore’s release – an alleged deal which has since prompted new questions about the hostage negotiations.

The family of security guard Jason Swindlehurst have said they want to know why the deal could not have happened earlier, in time to save their son.

Mystery still surrounds the whereabouts of the fifth British hostage Alan McMenemy, whose body officials said is expected to be released soon.