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Newhall soldier’s family reveal new inquest bid reasons

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 04, 2014

Russell Aston - soldier killed in Gulf

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THE family of a murdered soldier have spoken out for the first time about their bid for a new inquest to be opened into his death.

Relatives of Russell Aston, of Newhall, contacted the Mail after it was revealed that they and the families of others killed when an Iraqi police station was attacked in 2003 are looking for a new enquiry to be launched into the tragic incident.

They claim that new information shows that their deaths could have been prevented and are now pushing for the ‘new evidence’ be heard.

Adele Aston-Fessey, Russell’s sister, spoke to the Mail.

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She said: “Talks are ongoing between our lawyers and the Attorney General in a bid to get the old inquest quashed and a new one given the go-ahead.

“After all these years, you can see things in a fresh light and we think that there was a lot more to what happened.

“More information has been uncovered and more witnesses have come forward and we think that the case needs to be heard, in lieu of all these new findings.”

Six Red Caps were killed in the incident at Al Majar al-Kabir, near Basra, including Corporal Russell Aston, of Newhall.

An inquest in 2006 decided that they had been unlawfully killed.

Now, a solicitor acting for the families of four of the soldiers, Corporals Simon Miller and Russell Aston and Lance Corporals Benjamin Hyde and Thomas Keys, has written to the Attorney General asking for the case to be reopened in the light of ‘new evidence’.

Simon McKay claimed that there was evidence from a senior officer that the soldiers might have been alive for longer than has previously been reported.

And there was evidence of ‘real intelligence’ that their lives had been in danger that their commanders had not properly heeded, he claimed.

The original inquest ruled that the troops were killed between 10.30am and 11am on June 24, 2003.

New witnesses, including an Iraqi interpreter, have suggested extra efforts could have been made to save the Red Caps, because they could have been alive at midday.

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