They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Friday, February 16, 2007

Special Relationship: Court won't see "friendly fire" video

Footage of a friendly fire incident in which a British soldier died in Iraq will not be shown in open court at his inquest, the coroner investigating the death said today.

The Oxfordshire assistant deputy coroner, Andrew Walker, said he had made a "pragmatic" decision not to show the cockpit video, taken from one of two US A-10 planes that attacked a British convoy, killing Lance Corporal Matty Hull.

He added that the decision had been taken to ensure continued US cooperation with the inquest.

It comes despite the leaking of the tape to the Sun newspaper last week. The footage has since been shown repeatedly on television, and transcripts of the tape have been published.

The footage will instead be brought to the court by a ministry of defence official and shown in private to the coroner and Lance Corporal Hull's family.

"I can say quite categorically that if it were not for the potential delay and distress this would cause the family, I would not be willing to be bound by an agreement with the US as to use of evidence that I consider crucial to this inquest," Mr Walker told the pre-inquest hearing prior to the full inquest, which begins on March 12.

"I would be wrong to accept that the US are correct in seeking to bind the hands of the coroners' court in this way.

"But in these circumstances I feel that, in order to make progress and provide the family with closure, it seems to me that I must act in this way as far as the copy of that video is concerned." Link