Red Cap families 'excluded' from Iraq trial

#1
Couldn't see this elsewhere. If already posted, MODs please delete / merge as appropriate.

BBC News reporting the latest twist in the forthcoming trial of those charged with the killing of the six RMP's at Majar al-Kabir, 24th june 2003.

BBC News - Red Cap families 'excluded' from Iraq trial

The parents of six Royal Military Police soldiers killed in Iraq say they are being "excluded" from the trial of the men accused of their murder.

The Red Caps were killed by a mob in the town of Majar al-Kabir in the south of the country in 2003.

Their relatives say they are not allowed access to the court, or any form of live video of the proceedings, only a daily email summary of events.

The Ministry of Defence said it was for the Iraqi judge to rule on the matter.

The trial is due to begin in Iraq on 29 September.

Mike Aston, whose son Russell was one of those killed, said the parents were told two years ago they would be taken to see part of the trial process by the then-defence secretary John Hutton.

That offer was withdrawn by his successor Bob Ainsworth on safety grounds.

Mr Aston said the planned daily e-mail was not enough.

He told the BBC: "I'm a reasonable person. I would be happy with a video link. Especially as the government has said that any trip out there would be foolhardy.

"But I don't trust the authorities - the government and the Army. It's been like pulling teeth for seven years. They have wanted us to just go away," he said.

"We need proof that the trial has actually taken place. We don't know what happened in that room. We just want to see justice done and find out how our sons behaved and what happened to them."

MoD sources told the BBC that the ministry had investigated the possibility of some kind of streaming or video link from the court, however the decision to put in place any such video link was entirely up to the Iraqi judge. British authorities had no jurisdiction in this decision.
Timeline:

24 June 2003 - Six soldiers are killed by a mob while defending a police station in Al Majar al-Kabir, 120 miles north of Basra.

22 January 2004 - Sgt Simon Hamilton-Jewell's brother calls for a public inquiry into the deaths of the six men. This request has so far been rejected.

31 March 2006 - An inquest into their killings finds that the men had been given antiquated radios and inadequate ammunition. However, Coroner Nicholas Gardiner ruled that their deaths could not have been avoided.

4 May 2006 - Iraqi authorities issue first of 16 warrants for the arrest of suspects.

12 February 2010 - Eight Iraqis arrested in connection to the case

August 2010 - Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey informs the men's families that five of the seven remaining suspects had seen their charges dropped.

---

It does seem that John Hutton made a commitment that could not be kept, just to pacify the families of the six RMP's.

Any thoughts on whether the US Government would have instructed the families in this way, if these had been US RMP's?

RIP the six.
 
#2
31 March 2006 - An inquest into their killings finds that the men had been given antiquated radios and inadequate ammunition. However, Coroner Nicholas Gardiner ruled that their deaths could not have been avoided.
That makes no sense to me whatsoever.
 
P

pp0470

Guest
#4
Political hot potato - both governments want this to disappear.

Our is not to reason why, ours is but to be brushed under the carpet by the politicians (HMG) we work for.

Makes you feel (like) revolting.
 
#5
Stand by to be corrected, but the Coroner's comments were I believe, said in relation to the size of the mob that was present in Al Majar al-Kabir that morning.

Although, I agree Surfer_Smithy.
Although only a mear SUT in waiting the ability to reach c2 would have brought a whole new dimension to breaking the crowd. But please tell me to get back to joining up if i'm talking out of my arrse. Although i remember at the time it seemed a real cock up of megga proportion i didn't realise it seemed to have been covered up so blatently.
 
#6
I'm not surprised. I'm sick of seeing one of the endlessly whinging father. I know he's distraught, but he comes out with some shit that is detrimental.

He would only disrupt proceedings.

BTW there was **** all with the ammunition, maybe they mean there wasn't enough of it.
 
#7
Timeline:

24 June 2003 - Six soldiers are killed by a mob while defending a police station in Al Majar al-Kabir, 120 miles north of Basra.

22 January 2004 - Sgt Simon Hamilton-Jewell's brother calls for a public inquiry into the deaths of the six men. This request has so far been rejected.

31 March 2006 - An inquest into their killings finds that the men had been given antiquated radios and inadequate ammunition. However, Coroner Nicholas Gardiner ruled that their deaths could not have been avoided.

4 May 2006 - Iraqi authorities issue first of 16 warrants for the arrest of suspects.

12 February 2010 - Eight Iraqis arrested in connection to the case

August 2010 - Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey informs the men's families that five of the seven remaining suspects had seen their charges dropped.
You've missed a bit of the timeline:

20 June 2003 - 1 x FSG commander asks now deceased RMP's if they want force protection from now on in the form of 4 x WMIK to which I am told 'no' as deceased RMP's don't need protection.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#8
I assume that by "antiquated" radios they are referring the same clansman radios that everyone else was using at the time?
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#9
Each of them was carrying 50 rounds, not the 150 rounds minimum mandated for ALL personnel in the battlegroup at that time. They had FFR landrovers with 353 vhehicle fits. Their patrol commander failed to sign out the satellite phones that were compulsory for all patrols before they deployed outside of Abu Naji, and were available in the Ops room when they left.

The two 1 Para multiples had more ammunition, man pack clansman and satellite phones per SOPs. The used the phones to alert the Bg Ops room who then tasked a Gazelle to fly top cover. They were in constant comms with the Ops room by phone and clansman radio (rebro by Gaz) throughout their time in contact.

The two 1 Para multiples were very highly trained in basic infantry skills and fought like mad to get out with no casualties. Despite the Inf background of some of the MP c/s, they were practiced in policing not FIBUA - even if they had decided to fight their way out rather than negotiate I doubt they would have survived against an angry crowd of several hundred armed Iraqis. I certainly doubt they would have lasted long enough for the QRF to reach them - the ARF had already been shot to ribbons in the CH47.

A very sad day, and contributed to by a number of mistakes at all levels. Collectively, there was an assumption that it was just like NI, and we knew how to handle that -it wasn't and we didn't. At BG, Coy and RMP command level there was insufficient supervision that SOPs were being followed. Lastly, and this is an unpopluar thought for many, the RMP patrol themselves made many mistakes. It is my honestly held belief that even if they hadn't, the odds were stacked so far against them I doubt the outcome would have been different.

Why did they die? Because several hundred armed Iraqis were determined to kill some British. Quite how the Iraqi legal system believes it has identified exactly who was responsible, i am not sure. Does this make the trial actually mean much? Not for me, but I am sure it does for the families of the 6 RMP killed. I doubt it will answer any questions though.
 

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