BBC: Military inquest venue to change (19 Mar 07)

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Mar 19, 2007.

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  1. No link yet, but BBC PM programme has just reported that repatriation flights will come into RAF Lyneham (Wiltshire) instead of RAF Brize Norton (Oxfordshire) but no additional resources will be allocated to the Coroner's office in Wiltshire.

    As Coroner's staffing in Oxfordshire had been temporarily increased in order to catch up with the unacceptable backlog in Iraq-related inquests, the switch to Wiltshire amounts to a reduction in resources for inquests into the deaths of service personnel on operations.

    The decision is bound to be portrayed in some quarters as a Government move to prevent any more "awkward" inquest verdicts by the Oxfordshire Deputy Assistant Coroner who conducted the inquests into the deaths of Sgt Steve Roberts and LCOH Matty Hull.
     
  2. Who is the Wilts Coroner? Lord Goldsmith or Lord Levy perhaps?
     
  3. I heard this on Radio 5. It has been reported that this will make the inquest process more prolonged and cause a lot of suffering among the families. If this is true then this government has stooped even lower than I thought possible.
     
  4. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Just listened to this on R4 News.

    This demonstration of the government's utter lack of respect for service personnel and their families shows how contemptible they really are.

    [quote="hackle']The decision is bound to be portrayed in some quarters as a Government move to prevent any more "awkward" inquest verdicts by the Oxfordshire Deputy Assistant Coroner[/quote]

    It'll save them going to the trouble of inviting him for a walk in the woods, at least...
     
  5. The reported decision not to allocate additional resources to the Wiltshire Coroner is a matter for the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

    However, the prime mover in this case is the reported decision to transfer repatriation flights to Lyneham and that decision is, of course, entirely a matter for the Ministry of Defence.
     
  6. Why will this cause any more of a delay?

    It makes a certain amount of sense to change the point of landing in order to decrease the delay in getting the inquest completed. No one is moaning that the casualties who were flown into RAF Lossiemouth will be dealt with by the coroner up there.

    Conspiracies are everywhere... and they're all out to get you.
     
  7. Apparantly the repatriation flights are moving to Lyneham because Brize Norton is being resurfaced, Wiltshire has 3 part time coroners and all the expertiece built up by the Oxfordshire Coroners will be lost. Makes sense doesn't it.
     
  8. apparently not, 'Solon'.

    PS To save anyone the bother of pointing this out, Scotland has different arrangements - Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) rather than an inquest, and instead of a Coroner the officials involved are the Sheriff and the Procurator Fiscal. I have some experience of that system. However, this does not affect the point which 'Solon' was making.
     
  9. Interesting, but I thought BZZ runway had fairly recently been upgraded to Cat 2 - started autumn 2005?
     
  10. Seems to me that the media are now reporting this slightly differently from their initial reports at 1700. Clarification issued by Govt spokespeople? I'm checking it out. Back later.
     
  11. Link here

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6468171.stm

     
  12. Source - BBC News

    My bold.

    My take on these changes is that they should not in themselves lead to additional delays. The loss of the Oxfordshire expertise is regrettable. The timing of this announcement so soon after the Oxfordshire assistant deputy coroner's verdict on LCOH Matty Hull seems unfortunate from an MOD perspective.
     
  13. 'Should not' is absolutely right.

    Is the 'loss' regrettable or simply the convenient result of deliberate MoD/Government action? What a question!

    MoD is completely unfazed by the timing of the announcement. Why should it worry? Today's papers are tomorrow's fish and chip wrapping... Who is likely to embarrass MoD by making a fuss?

    My personal view is that MoD would welcome a transferrence of the Coroner's Court to somewhere altogether more convenient - such as Port Stanley. That might just possibly reduce the potential for any troublesome scrutiny.

    Remember, this is a Government which brought in FOI and which has declared itself 'transparent'. Well most here can see straight through what is proposed.

    Oh, and is the FOI legislation to be 'adjusted'? I'm sure that'll be a jolly good thing.