Major-General Wall faces charges....

#2
hansvonhealing said:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1903566,00.html

Just what is going on?
Indeed, all seems a bit bizarre? Ordering a shooting then getting shot yourself?? More to this story than meets the eye me thinks!
 
#4
His actions were investigated after Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, told Geoff Hoon, the former defence secretary, that the evidence suggested “a concerted attempt by the chain of command to influence and prevent an investigation”.

Goldsmith then removed the case from the army’s control and ordered that any charges be heard by a civilian court.
Can this possibly be the same Lord Cronysmith who was at such pains recently to tell us that there was no political interference in this sort of case?
 
#5
If Wall is charged then every British Soldier either in Iraq or going to Iraq will be in utter fear of defending themselves in case they are fingered for prosecution! something should be done at a high level surely to prevent Soldiers being investigated by civilian police?! Christ, if they had done this in WWII thousands of Soldiers, Sailors and especially Bomber Aircrew would be getting stripey suntans if not worse!!! as if the Soldier on the ground doesn't have enough on their mind!!!
 
#6
Based upon this limited information so far it certainly looks as if Gen Walls has a challenging time ahead. No one is going to be happy with civilians taking charge of military investigations however if the whole thing smells of fish then we shouldn't be surprised that this is the result. The real danger is that if this happens too often then authority for all investigations could be handed over to civil authorities.

The comment about the culpability of bomber crews is most sound.
 
#7
Utter, utter shiite. A strong stench of wanting to settle old scores and policemen (civvie and mil) who are far too quick to vigorously pursue people acting under the most demanding circumstances in the performance of their duties. Civpol should sort their own back yard out out properly before coming after others. :evil:
 
#8
I am glad that someone very senior is about to face the same pressure as faced by the lower levels such as Tpr Williams and Col Mendonca. Not because I support the investigations but because this will force the MOD and public to wake up to the problem. Gen Wall is a top bloke, utterly straight and deserves our support. If someone is going to fight these politically driven investigations and win, then it will be him. If this sort of thing continues much longer then it will be time for some more direct action to get the problem into the public's minds and get these snivelling, low life politicians and their lawyer friends back into their holes. I am watching the new sport of getting around the archaic ban on our speaking to the Press by the use of the spouse as spokeperson with some interest. This might be a way ahead. Something along the lines of "As you know, I am unable to comment on this to you Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, however my wife has a long, detailed account of affairs that she is willing to provide."

On another note, it looks more and more as if legal costs insurance is an essential for any command appointment. I wonder if the costs should be tax deductible as a result?
 
#9
VR, outstandingly put, if I may be so bold. There is of course the prerequisite to follow that every bloke in similar circumstances (i.e. liable to be shafted by an ever grateful government) is issued with 'missus, one, ops, media trained' !
 
#10
So to recap, Sgt Roberts is killed by one of his own blokes seemingly and a local is also taken out by two others.
Very senior (I presume tankie or donkey walloper) officer does all he can to fcuk the monkeys off the high port for dubious motives.

FFS people, if I had been Sgt Roberts the least I would expect is an impartial investigation into the circumstances.

Wall needs his balls whacked.
 
#11
How about a criminal investigation into under equipping of British Forces on TELIC 1. We should start with messrs Blair et al and ask them why they delayed mobilisation and sourcing of vital equipment (e.g. body armour) for long that many soldiers were dangerously (fatally in the case of Sgt Roberts) short of vital kit. Tossers, why are they never held accountable for their actions.

The Times says of Maj-Gen Wall:-
"He was commander of 1 (UK) Armoured Division at the time of the alleged offence."

Why can't journalists ever their facts right. That would be Brims not Wall.
 
#12
Inclined to agree with Northern that the hampering of a full and impartial (and probably unpalatable) investigation into the incident has led to the sorry state of affairs we now face with flat faced civvies getting their great big oars in.

The least that should have been done is to let our own investigators investigate. Interference from the chain of command like this will only lead to the whole system of military justice being wrested from our hands and into those of the flat faced locals. This gentlemen, will be a "Bad Thing"tm
 
#13
Storeman Norman said:
VR, outstandingly put, if I may be so bold. There is of course the prerequisite to follow that every bloke in similar circumstances (i.e. liable to be shafted by an ever grateful government) is issued with 'missus, one, ops, media trained' !
glad you didn't say "media, for the use of"!
 
#14
It would appear that the Met Police have been asked to 'investigate' the case which they will with total impartiality and indeed leave no stone unturned by a whole squad of officers who will be flown out to Iraq to conduct a lengthy,costly investigation.
 
#15
If senior brass have been attempting to influence the conduct of SIB investigations, from the outset, that is a pretty disgraceful state of affairs. Defending your men is one thing, but trying to stifle a criminal investigation is quite another. If a death occurs in suspicious circumstances, surely it should be investigated, or are we saying soldiers should have complete immunity from investigation and prosecution for anything they do while on ops?

The civilian police might be able to undertake some investigations of this nature, but they are not going to be able (or prepared) to work in a war zone, which leaves us with the SIB, under Army command. It appears the in-theatre SIB chain of command needs some tweaking. At the end of the day, SIB investigators are still soldiers and their impartiality hinges on the ability of SIB senior officers to say, "No", when they come under pressure from very senior commanders.
 
#16
Booty said:
The civilian police might be able to undertake some investigations of this nature, but they are not going to be able (or prepared) to work in a war zone, which leaves us with the SIB, under Army command. It appears the in-theatre SIB chain of command needs some tweaking. At the end of the day, SIB investigators are still soldiers and their impartiality hinges on the ability of SIB senior officers to say, "No", when they come under pressure from very senior commanders.
Not true, the MPS has people in Iraq and Afganistan, and had them in Yougoslavia in the 1990's. Infact only the other day I had to sit and fume in stores whilst various people were issued with Kevlar helmets and battledress for god knows where in front of me.

Persoanlly I think the military need an independent investigating arm, possibly along the lines of IPCC.

Trotsky
 
#18
Its incredible how we are always in line to be investigated by the civpol - the past few months have shown how keen everyone is to prosecute soldiers who carry out their f~~king duties when they're shot at and face being blown up every day -

the civpol of course can shoot who they like and then walk away scot free screaming op kratos ...
whether we think it was right or not the point is why aren't we offered the same immunity?
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#19
I have to agree with Booty and Trotsky. No one is above the law. If the Officer has as alleged, attempted to stop the investigation into what appears to be a murder followed by a manslaughter, then he must face an inquiry himself. There's no point in getting all passionate about it and shouting what a good bloke he is and how unfair the world is. If he has stopped an SIB enquiry into offences as serious as these, then he should be made to answer. You just cannot do that sort of thing, there are no excuses. This is not a case of 'yet another officer/soldier being pilloried' for the good and benefit of press/politics. It runs deeeper than that. For years the Army has stood accused of influencing its 'internal enquiries'. Well it looks as if this may about to be proven. What about Deepcut? What about the 6 RMP in Iraq? Why now should the public have any faith in the Army investigating and trying our own people?

Good on the SIB Warrant Officer for having the balls to stand up, but shame on the SIB Officer for folding under pressure. I wonder though, if the officer in theatre feared for the future of their own career? Nevertheless, he or she should have had the moral courage to stand their ground. This wasn't a case of stealing in the barrack block, this was a case of murder and manslaughter. These cannot be brushed under the carpet . I read that the head of the SIB in Germany even visited the General on several occasions and that the General questioned 'the right of his SIB to tell him that an enquiry was needed' ? You cannot take that attitude when two men have lost their lives. Arrogant just doesn't describe it enough.

Tim Collins has nothing but bad to say about the SIB but I wonder what his opinion is on this? Perhaps when he was investigated, the influences upon RMP were the same as alleged here?

There must now be grounds for removing the SIB from the Army chain of command. The Army needs an independant policing agency which cannot be influenced by rank. It would appear now, that it is not a case of RMP's inability to do their job, but rather a case of them being prevented from doing their job, by the higher echelons.

If this is true, then this is outrageous. I sympathise with Mrs Roberts, having to go through this shit.
 
#20
I keep finding myself agreeing with Biscuits, and he's bang on the money with this one as far as I'm concerned.

Why? Well this is the bit of the story that for me is the most imporant if it's true:

When the report was received in Germany, in summer 2003, the head of the SIB went to see Wall on a number of occasions and told him there had to be a proper investigation. Wall allegedly wrote to the army’s UK headquarters questioning the need for the case to be investigated and the right of his own SIB to tell him an investigation must take place, the source said.

“He sought legal advice on his powers to halt the investigation into the death of Sergeant Roberts, pointing out that the SIB were ‘ultimately under the chain of command’ and not on any independent ‘statutory footing’.”
Let me get this right:

SIB Officer: "Sir, this looks suspicious inasmuch that there is evidence of serious criminal offences being committed."

Senior Officer: "Er, no."

SIB: "Why sir?"

Senior Officer: "Because I said so and you are part of my chain of command."

No effective system that deals with the investigation of crime and the administration of justice can work like this. It just can't. The SIB deserve more resources, support and a totally independent source of authority, if necessary from the CGS himself. And, yes, an independent ombudsman to oversee it all. I think the average soldier on ops would be better served by such a system, as we have discussed elsewhere on ARRSE.

The whole thing is very unfortunate, and that the politicians that presided over the Iraq debacle have escaped any censure for these events is the real issue that leaves a bitter, nasty smell over the whole affair.

V!
 

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