Calls to prosecute Terry Lloyd's killers

Ex-Tory leader William Hague has added his voice to the chorus of appeals for the US soldiers who killed British news reporter Terry Lloyd to be brought to justice.

The shadow foreign secretary has reportedly backed calls made by media groups that the American troops responsible for the murder of the ITN reporter should be prosecuted.

He also appealed for “much more honesty” from the Pentagon, following the US military’s apparent reluctance to identify the pilots involved in the killing of British soldier Matty Hull.

The deaths of both Lloyd and Hull have been reported as so-called “friendly fire” incidents, after US forces in Iraq mistakenly identified each of them as insurgents.

Although both men were in Iraq under different professional roles – Hull as a soldier for the British Army, and Lloyd as a TV journalist – they are united by being victims of so-called “blue on blue” incidents.

Also in both cases, the names of the US soldiers most closely associated with their deaths had been kept secret, leaving each man’s family clueless as to the identities of their respective perpetrators.

Britain’s top soldier Sir Mike Jackson has told C4 news of an apparent “reluctance” on the part of the Americans to identify the pilots who accidentally fired on, and killed Matty Hull.

Only last week the Metropolitan Police’s Crimes Against Humanity team said it would interview Lieutenant Vince Hogan – head of the team of marines who killed Lloyd in crossfire in 2003.

But according to reports, the British investigators will find the leader of Delta Company’s Red Platoon far from remorseful.

“I don’t see that if I were in the situation again, anything would be different,” Hogan was quoted as saying in The Daily Mail.

Although he referred to the shelling of Lloyd as “unfortunate,” he said the ITN journalist was in “kinda the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Next week, Terry Lloyd’s daughter, Chelsey, will fly to the US, alongside the Met Police, where she will confront Hogan.

Fresh in both their minds will be a ruling of an inquest in October that found Terry Lloyd was unlawfully killed following an incident involving US troops and Fedayeen rebels.

Witness at the time told an ITN journalist that Lloyd had been driving a minibus out of danger when it was commandeered to pick up casualties from an Iraqi gunfight.

Assistant Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker has heard that Lloyd appeared to have been shot in the shoulder and had to be lifted into the minibus.

When asked what happened next, witnesses said: “Terry was then shot in the head by US troops.”

Despite this, and the inquest’s ruling, Hogan has insisted: “I don’t think there was any crime committed.”

But only last week, the National Union of Journalists said: “We will keep campaigning until those responsible for Terry's killing have been brought to justice.”




 

20th February 2007

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