14:56 Monday 24 February 2014

New inquest plea over deaths of six British soldiers in Iraq

Written byROB SMYTH

Russell Aston - soldier killed in Gulf Russell Aston - soldier killed in Gulf

THE families of four of the six British soldiers killed when an Iraqi police station was attacked in 2003 are calling for a new inquiry into the incident.

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.

But 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.

The families have said the deaths could have been prevented.

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