MoD refuses to hand over video to Coroner

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by nigegilb, Feb 1, 2007.

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  1. Coroner slams MoD over Iraq tape

    L/Cpl Matty Hull was in a convoy of light armoured vehicles near Basra
    A coroner has launched a furious attack on the MoD for refusing to release a video tape of the moment a US aircraft opened fire on British troops in Iraq.
    Coroner Andrew Walker is hearing the inquest on Lance Corporal Matty Hull, 25, from Berkshire, who died in the attack in March 2003.

    A cockpit video of the incident exists but the MoD said it did not have the authority for it to be played in court.

    Mr Walker has demanded the MoD make the tape available by Friday morning.

    Tankbuster attack

    Mr Walker, Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner, said the video was central to the case and he could not understand why it had not been forthcoming.

    L/Cpl Hull's widow, Susan, described it as an "absolute disgrace" that the evidence had come to light this week when she had been assured by the military that no such tape existed.

    L/Cpl Hull, from the Household Cavalry Regiment, died from multiple injuries inside his blazing Scimitar tank, despite efforts by colleagues to save him.

    He was travelling in a column of light armoured vehicles near the southern Iraqi city of Basra when it was reportedly attacked by a US A-10 "tankbuster" aircraft.

    Corporal Ashley Bell, who was also in the convoy, had earlier told the inquest in Oxford that he got on the radio and appealed for the firing to stop but the planes kept attacking.

    The case continues.
     
  2. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Whose authority does MoD need? Or is this just a US influenced attempt to whitewash the incident?
     
  3. Given that it is a cockpit video and a US aircraft, it's probably a US tape.

    If the US have released it to the MOD, they may well have imposed conditions on it's use and/or dissemination. Pure supposition, but not unreasonable.

    Sounds like the coroner thinks he is God's gift though.
     
  4. The Coroner is trying to do his job and that is to find the truth. The video belongs to the US military and has been known about by the MoD since 2004. The widow of L/Cpl Hull only found out about it this week.
     
  5. What? You think it's unreasonable that a judge, tasked with officially determining the chain of events and the cause of death of a British soldier, demands that all available and pertinent evidence in the posession of HMG be brought before him?
     
  6. beat me to it...friendly fire is not acceptable and should not be excused or covered up :pissedoff:
     
  7. No, it should not be covered up.

    No excuses made... But there is reason for FF. War is getting faster and since the invention of 'modern' Blitzkrieg tactics such incidents are on the rise.

    The tape should be made available if only to clarify under which conditions the soldier died.
     
  8. Coroner is demanding that the video is shown tomorrow at 1030. However the MoD needs to go through hoops to get permission from the US authorities. You would like to think that the MoD would already have done this work? The MoD have refused to pay for legal teams for the familes of the Herc crash but are happy to pay millions in taxpayers money for their own legal advice.

    PB Go figure.....
     
  9. So the instances of blue on blue should be criminalised? I am not condoning it but wherever there is conflict there will be instances of blue on blue. Even within the army
     
  10. I agree there will always be times when it happens, but surely full investigations and SOP reviews will reduce the chances of it happening? Covering it up (or appearing to) just makes it look like there is something to hide, not just the result of the heat of battle.
     
  11. Gents, the guys on the ground on that fateful day state that the pilot was flying that low they could see his face. Now call me old fashioned but I sense a cover up of the disgraceful events that occurred that day, in which British Armd ( CVRT) vehicles with the necessary ID pannels were mistakenly identified as an "Iraqi flatbed truck" never mind the 2 x Iraqi's who were surrendering. I hope that the truth prevails and no stone left unturned for an event that occurred nearly 4 Yrs ago.
     
  12. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    How would you expect a Coroner to decide whether a death in a blue-on-blue incident is unlawful or not unless and until all the evidence is made available? Or a subsequent police investigation be completed without all the evidence?

    Failing to make evidence available to the Coroner will inevitably lead to accusations of cover-up and whitewash.
     
  13. I am not condoning the covering up of blue on blue incidents, but to think, or teach, that they are totally avoidable in warfare is rediculous. As is holding an inquest for them.

    Remember that a similar inquest found the killing of an ITV reporter illegal
     
  14. I agree Nigegilb. My point was that given the MOD will have explained why they cannot (yet) release the video to him, his outburst, as reported, is not very judicious. It wouldn't surprise me if the holdup is on the US end, they have an inefficient bureaucracy too.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/6321871.stm

    He absolutely has a duty to determine the facts leading up to the death of LCoH Hull, but there are other factors as well. The US military is not subject to UK law and the MOD cannot release information, subject to restrictions, without compromising the US/UK working relationship. There is a bigger picture that he does not seem to be acknowledging.


    Edited following Blues_Cav's correction
     
  15. It beggars belief. When will the MoD ever, ever learn? There has to be someone with the brains and moral courage to realise that events like this do not do them any favours. It stinks of whitewash and cover up already.

    Wake up Whitehall ffs!