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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007, 17:00 GMT
Coroner slams MoD over Iraq tape
Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull
L/Cpl Matty Hull was in a convoy of light armoured vehicles near Basra
A coroner has launched a furious attack on the MoD for refusing to release a video tape of the moment a US aircraft opened fire on British troops in Iraq.

Coroner Andrew Walker is hearing the inquest on Lance Corporal Matty Hull, 25, from Berkshire, who died in the attack in March 2003.

A cockpit video of the incident exists but the MoD said it did not have the authority for it to be played in court.

Mr Walker has demanded the MoD make the tape available by Friday morning.

MoD lawyer Leigh-Ann Mulcahy had told him that "high-level diplomacy between US and UK governments" was needed over the release of the video.

Tankbuster attack

Mr Walker, Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner, said the video was central to the case and he could not understand why it had not been forthcoming.

L/Cpl Hull's widow, Susan, described it as an "absolute disgrace" that the evidence had come to light this week when she had been assured by the military that no such tape existed.

L/Cpl Hull, from the Household Cavalry Regiment, died from multiple injuries inside his blazing Scimitar tank, despite efforts by colleagues to save him.

He was travelling in a column of light armoured vehicles near the southern Iraqi city of Basra when it was reportedly attacked by a US A-10 "tankbuster" aircraft.

Corporal Ashley Bell, who was also in the convoy, had earlier told the inquest in Oxford that he got on the radio and appealed for the firing to stop but the planes kept attacking.

The case continues.

What the coroner said to the court

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