Iraq fatality investigations inquiry yet another disgrace – let’s stop this endless legal pursuit of service personnel

An army officer has waived his right to anonymity to criticise defence chiefs for paying out millions of pounds to “mendacious” lawyers who have brought allegations over the Iraq war.
Major Robert Campbell, an expert in explosives ordnance disposal who faces another investigation over the death of an Iraqi teenager, revealed in The Times that he returned his war medals to the Queen.
Mr Campbell condemned the latest “Iraq fatality investigations inquiry” as “unspeakably vindictive and cruel” and accused the army of treating soldiers as “political fodder”. It is the eighth inquiry Mr Campbell has faced since 2003.
He pointed to the Ministry of Defence having paid more than £100 million to “mendacious” human rights lawyers, including Phil Shiner, a Birmingham-based solicitor who was struck off for misconduct after bringing dishonest abuse claims against British soldiers who served in Iraq.
The Royal Engineer, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been repeatedly investigated over the death of Said Shabram, 19, who drowned in Basra in 2003. It was alleged that the teenager may have been forced into a river by British soldiers after being caught looting.
Mr Campbell, from Cambridge, who has denied any wrongdoing and has described trying to save Shabram who had jumped into the river, said he had returned his medals to the Queen last year “at a particular low point” and received a “very touching” private letter from Buckingham Palace.
His decorations included campaign medals for Iraq and Afghanistan and a Nato Meritorious Service Medal.
Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative MP and former army officer who is chairman of the foreign affairs committee, called the latest inquiry a disgrace. Johnny Mercer, a Conservative MP and former army captain who served in Afghanistan, said that strong political leadership was needed to stop the “endless legal pursuit” of service personnel.
I fully agree.
Hilary Meredith