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British regime to ban coroners from exposing the truth about soldier deaths



MoD wants gag on coroners

Strong criticism of the MoD during inquests into soldiers' deaths should be banned, the government has urged.

The call came during a High Court test case involving territorial army soldier Pte Jason Smith, who died of heatstroke in temperatures of 60C (140F) in Iraq in 2003.

Oxfordshire coroner Andrew Walker recorded in November 2006 that Pte Smith's death was 'caused by a serious failure to recognise and take appropriate steps to address the difficulty he had in adjusting to the climate'.

He should not have made reference to a 'serious failure' in his narrative verdict because it could be seen as deciding civil liability for Pte Smith's death and that was not allowed under the 1984 Coroners' Rules, lawyers for the government argued.

Sarah Moore, representing defence secretary Des Browne, said 'a matter of general importance' had been raised because the phrase 'serious failing' was cropping up on a regular basis in inquests into Iraqi military deaths.

Lawyers for the late soldier's mother, Catherine Smith, from Roxburghshire in Scotland, argued the minister's legal challenge was 'misconceived'.

Last week Mr Walker criticised the MoD after SAS trainee Capt Daniel Wright died in training during a parachute jump near RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, in 2005.

He said Capt Wright would not have died if he had been equipped with a radio, which would have allowed instructors to talk him through opening his reserve chute.

Capt Wright's mother, Carol, of Newport in south Wales, said: 'If the MoD wants does not want to be criticised, then it should get its house in order.' The hearing continues.


SOURCE

Metro, "MoD wants gag on coroners", 17 March 2008.
http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=120574&in_page_id=34

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Tags: MoD, gag.coroners, censorship, soldier, deaths, British, military, military, deaths, killed, Iraq, , conspiracy theories.

 
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