Father of murdered Red Cap Ben Hyde seeks Foreign Secretary's help in fight for justice (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Father of murdered Red Cap Ben Hyde seeks Foreign Secretary's help in fight for justice
A GRIEVING father is demanding justice for his murdered Red Cap son following a huge Government payout to Iraqi policemen allegedly tortured by the SAS.
John Hyde’s son Ben, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, was one of six military policemen massacred by an Iraqi mob ten years ago in the police station at Majar al Kabir.
A decade on, he still awaits answers to crucial questions about their deaths while calls for a public inquiry have been frequently refused.
Although eight suspects were brought to trial all were released due to lack of evidence.
Just last week it emerged that nine Iraqi policemen are to receive £800,000 compensation after claiming they were tortured by an SAS team looking for the Red Caps’ killers.
They accused the SAS of strangling and beating them with rifles in the same building where the six MPs - whose role was to re-equip and retrain the Iraqi police - were battered and shot by the several hundred-strong mob six days earlier.
Up to 40 of those British soldiers are said to be under investigation for alleged brutality – and could face jail if found guilty.
The news prompted Mr Hyde to seek the support of Foreign Secretary – and local MP – William Hague in securing justice for his son.
“My wife Sandra and I have never been as ‘militant’ as some of the other families of Ben’s comrades, we have always tried to believe that eventually, all of our concerns would be addressed,” he said.
“However, it has become obvious that the hope of both British and Iraqi Governments is that if they ignore us for long enough we will give up.
"It seems that the rights of Iraqi citizens allegedly abused by British soldiers are far more important than the rights of British soldiers murdered by Iraqi citizens.”
At the time they were killed Lance-Corporal Hyde and his comrades - who included Corporal Simon Miller, 21, from Washington, Wearside, and Corporal Paul Long, 24, of South Shields, - should have been equipped with a satellite phone and at least 150 rounds of ammunition each.
However, they had no phone and just 50 rounds each – none of which they fired.
Mr Hyde said: “The Army has a duty of care to its soldiers, in the case of Ben and his comrades they failed in that duty.”
In his letter to Mr Hague he said: “You can now perhaps understand why we, as families, feel so bitter over the apparent willingness of the British Government to compensate Iraqi citizens and prosecute British soldiers, when they have failed so badly in their duty of caring for those who are prepared to sacrifice their lives in the service of our country.”
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