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article image'Friendly fire' footage not shown

By Sayovi     Feb 16, 2007 in Crime
A tape of a British soldier being killed in a "friendly fire" incident will not be shown in open court at his inquest, a coroner has ruled
A coroner has reluctantly agreed to a US demand not to show a video of British soldier Matty Hull being killed in a friendly fire incident in open court.
Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker said he would take a "pragmatic" approach to showing the video, a cockpit recording of US pilots opening fire on Lance Corporal Hull's armoured convoy in Southern Iraq four years ago, to ensure the US provided further information for his inquiry.
Addressing a pre-inquest hearing he said that he can say quite categorically that if it were not for the potential delay and distress that would cause the family, he would not be willing to be bound by an agreement with the US as to use of evidence that he consider crucial to this inquest.
Mr Walker was told by Ministry of Defence lawyer Leigh-Ann Mulcahy that the US government authorised the transcript of the video to be presented in open court.
But the video, which is of poor quality and shows little of what is happening on the ground, cannot be shown in public.
It will be brought to the court by an MoD official and shown to the coroner and the family.
The coroner asked if he could get the video analysed or enhanced but was told he did not have US authorisation.
Geraldine McCool, respresenting Mr Hull's widow, Susan, said: "My client's views are that the video is absolutely vital evidence for this inquest and there is an artificial situation in discussing these conditions when the video has been displayed and is available around the world.
"I would say there is a lack of cooperation on behalf of the US government."
She added that the Hull family would rather that the coroner cooperated with the US over the video to ensure it provides a witness to interpret it and transcripts of the US investigation into the pilots' training hours.
More about Coroner, Friendly Fire, British soldier, US
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