Six separate families of UK service personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are accusing the government of breaking its promise to consult them about the appointment of a new inquiry chairman, and have reportedly asked the prime minister to suspend the process until the consultation process has been completed.
The families claim the new chairman will be primarily interested in cases where allegations of unlawful killing and failure to prevent harm to civilians are going to be investigated, and those cases will be of the greatest importance in deciding how the investigation will be handled. In the past few months alone, the families have submitted 180 new complaints regarding Iraq War allegations to an inquiry that many allege has become as politically politicized as some of the cases that are being investigated.
The six families are asking the prime minister to choose a witness from a special panel set up by former prime minister Tony Blair in 2006, and they also want the government to appoint another independent commissioner to handle the inquiries.
The new chairman was named as Matthew Oakeshott, a former Conservative Party spin doctor, and a former aide to former prime minister John Major. Oakeshott had previously been named as one of seven candidates, along with two other Labour Party MPs, to chair the new Iraq Inquiry, and before that had told the Guardian: “The process we are undertaking is one of genuine transparency and would fully consider every single claim and investigation.”
The inquiry, which had been due to be completed by May 2016, will now be delayed until at least November 2018.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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