On 24 June 2003 six military policemen, serving in Iraq were murdered by a mob that stormed the police station the men were visiting. In April 2006 the Coroner of Oxfordshire concluded the “red caps”, as they became known, had been unlawfully killed. In a letter to the then Secretary of State the Coroner expressed concern about the lack of ammunition issued to the men, inadequate communications and the road-worthiness of the vehicles the men were driving.
A dossier of new evidence has been submitted to the Attorney General that supports the belief of the families of four of the men that their murder could have been avoided. The evidence comes from two witnesses, a former SAS Lieutenant Colonel, known as Colonel X and Captain T. The new information suggests that spy agency GCHQ had intelligence that an attack was imminent. In addition, it has emerged that four of the red caps had been captured by the mob and were later executed by an insurgent called Rufeiq a known target of the allied forces. Rufieq was initially believed to have been killed at the Battle of Danny Boy but this was later dismissed. The evidence of the execution is supported by additional information that the six British servicemen did not die until up to 90 minutes after the original time of death.
The dossier has been submitted to the Attorney General as the four families wish to secure a fresh inquest into their loved ones’ deaths.
John Miller, the father of Corporal Simon Miller said, “this new evidence was withheld from us and I always knew from day one that the MOD were complicit in concocting a believable story”. Reg Keys, whose son, Lance Corporal Thomas Keys was also murdered, said, “I have always been of the belief that the true nature of the events that led to my son’s murder and the murder of his colleagues was withheld from the families by the Army and MOD and the families were given a ‘sanitized’ version. The subsequent inquest too had many shortcomings”.
Under the Coroners Act 1988 the Attorney General can either apply or authorize an application for a new inquest. The lawyer representing the families, Simon McKay of Military Lawyers 4U said, “this is new and at times remarkable evidence which begins to piece together the jigsaw of the tragic events in 2003 when the red caps were savagely murdered”. He went on, “in my opinion the legal test is met to enable the Attorney General to either apply for a new inquest or authorize the families to do so. It is essential that issues such as whether the deaths of the men could have been avoided as well as the truth of the circumstances of their murders is put before a proper court of law”.
1. Military Lawyers 4U act for the families of Corporals Miller and Aston and Lance Corporals Hyde and Keys.
2. The families are prepared to give interviews. If you do not have their contact details these can be provided via Simon McKay.
3. The Attorney General’s office has acknowledged safe receipt of the dossier but there is no timescale available about when a decision may be made.
For all enquiries or further information please contact Simon McKay at Military Lawyers 4U on 01274 724112 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org