The Evening Standard story – Iraqis cleared over Red Cap deaths

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“Iraqis cleared over Red Cap deaths”

Five Iraqis have been cleared of the murder of six British Royal Military Police officers in 2003, the Ministry of Defence confirmed.

Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey wrote to the families of the Red Caps saying the judge had ruled that five of seven suspects arrested earlier this year had no case to answer.

Two remaining suspects are now expected to face trial over the deaths, according to Mr Harvey.

He said: “The judge indicated that, pending confirmation of the identity of one of the remaining two suspects in custody, both will face trial.”

The Army Red Caps were killed after a 400-strong Iraqi mob descended on a police station in Majar al-Kabir in June 2003.

The six RMP officers were Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell, 41, from Chessington, Surrey; Corporal Russell Aston, 30, from Swadlincote, Derbyshire; Corporal Paul Long, 24, of South Shields, Tyne and Wear; Lance Corporal Benjamin McGowan Hyde, 23, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire; Lance Corporal Tom Keys, 20, from Bala, North Wales; and Corporal Simon Miller, 21, from Washington, Tyne and Wear.

Relatives of the victims have fought a long campaign for justice.

A court in Baghdad issued warrants for the arrests in February 2006 but it seemed there had been little progress.

In January 2008 Iraqi interior minister Jawad Al Boulani vowed to do his best to track down the killers after a letter from three of the families implored the Iraqi government to find the culprits.

An MoD spokesman said: “The UK Government is committed to seeing the killers brought to justice.”


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