A British Royal Air Force doctor has appeared in a military court and pleaded not guilty to five charges of failing to comply with orders after refusing to go to Iraq.

The Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith refused to attend training in advance of deployment to Basra last year. He said he believed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was illegal.

The prosecutor told the court the presence of British forces in Iraq was not unlawful.

The officer had already completed tours of duty in Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.