I welcome the news that Johnny Mercer MP has secured a commitment from Chair of the Defence Select Committee, Dr Julian Lewis MP, to hold an inquiry into the actions of the ongoing Iraq Historic Allegation Team investigation.
The inquiry will be spearheaded by the Member of Parliament for Plymouth Moor View in either a sub-committee, or at full committee level. While the exact terms of reference are still to be determined, the aim of the inquiry will be to deliver a short and focused report that seeks to provide some light to the workings of the IHAT investigation, and some assurances to those who find themselves caught up with IHAT.
In extreme cases, there are soldiers who left military service many years ago, settled into civilian life and are now being contacted by IHAT and accused of unlawful killing.
Having consulted with veterans, I believe they should be guaranteed the following:
- The right to a framework of help and support for serving and ex-military personnel to include, Chain of Command, welfare and medical support.
- The right to independent legal advice.
- The right for funding for such advice.
- The right to a fair trial.
- Time limits be imposed on these cases.
- The rights promised to military personnel under the military covenant to be upheld.