28 January 2012, 09:13
The mum of a British military policeman from Hebburn, who was killed in Iraq wants a public inquiry into his death.
24 year old Corporal Paul Long, was one of six Red Caps murdered when about 400 Iraqis attacked a police station in Majar al-Kabir, Maysan, southern Iraq, in June 2003.
There have been a series of investigations into what went wrong, including an internal Army Board of Inquiry and an inquest.
But Cpl Long's mother Pat, from Hebburn in South Tyneside, believes those reviews were inadequate and said she still has unanswered questions about what happened to her son.
Her legal team, from Birmingham-based Public Interest Lawyers, has now written to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond calling for a fresh inquiry and warning that they could bring a judicial review challenge in the High Court.
The 25-page letter states:
"At present, Mrs Long feels a strong sense of injustice, that the questions she has about her son's death have not been properly answered and that, importantly, the lack of any accountability for the situation in which her son was placed does not do justice for her son.
The circumstances of the deaths in this case reveal obvious defects in the systems which ought reasonably be expected to be in place to protect the lives of British soldiers.''
The letter calls for an independent inquiry with terms of reference broad enough to cover operational planning and the provision of equipment to British soldiers in Iraq.
It says it is "extremely doubtful'' whether a fresh inquest would be the appropriate way of meeting the Government's obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to life.
The letter notes: "Mrs Long does not accept that there has been adequate investigation into the circumstances of her son's death. She takes the view, therefore, that a full and proper understanding of her son's death has not been realised."