October 28, 2016

Father of British ‘redcap’ killed by Iraqi mob accuses the government of inaction

THE father of a British “redcap” killed by an Iraqi mob accused the Government last night of hounding troops while allowing his murderers to go free.

Lance Corporal Thomas Keys, 20, was one of six Royal Military Police murdered in al Majar al-Kabir in 2003.

An Iraqi judge released two alleged ringleaders within an hour.

Seven more suspects were never charged.

Last night Corporal Keys’s father Reg, 63, said: “The British Government is willing to spend millions of pounds investigating British troops for war crimes but it has done nothing to bring the Iraqis who killed my son to justice.

“We asked the Government to get involved but they told me they had to leave it to the Iraq authorities.

“Then former defence secretary Des Brown told me they had arrested two men. We were led to believe they would be found guilty.

“This Government is bending over backwards to pursue claims against British soldiers but when it comes to the Foreign Office pressuring the Iraqis to help British families, there is a stony silence.

“These were six British soldiers murdered while serving Queen and country. It is as if six pieces of military hardware had been lost, not six lives.”

Last week the Sunday Express revealed a letter by one of 280 soldiers being investigated by the Iraq Historic Abuse Team.

In it, he pleaded that he was “not a monster” and that British soldiers had gone out of their way in Iraq to help civilians.

The investigation will cost taxpayers £57million.

A defence spokesman said: “The Government has tried repeatedly to persuade the Iraqi authorities to pursue the cases against the remaining individuals implicated in these tragic events and will continue to do so.”

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