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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK
Inquiry into fate of ITN man
Fred Nerac, the missing ITN cameraman
Cameraman Fred Nerac is still missing

The disappearance of an ITN crew member in southern Iraq during the war is to be investigated by British Military Police (RMP), the government said.

Following new information the Royal Military Police Special Investigations Branch is to probe the disappearance of cameraman Fred Nerac and translator/driver Hussein Osman.

The men went missing in the same "friendly fire" incident on 22 March that claimed the life of ITN reporter Terry Lloyd.

In a Commons' written reply Defence Minister Lewis Moonie said: "The Ministry of Defence's position has always been that the RMP would only undertake a formal investigation into the disappearance of the two men if they had sufficient grounds to suspect that a war crime might have been committed.

"Following new information that has recently come to light, however, the RMP Special Investigations Branch will now investigate the disappearance of Fred Nerac and Hussein Osman."

Warm tributes

Mr Lloyd's funeral took place on 25 April where warm tributes were paid to the newsman.

Mourners led by widow, Lynn, daughter Chelsey, 21, and son Oliver, 11, included Daniel Demoustier, who was injured in the same incident in which Mr Lloyd died.

The crew were shot at as they were trying to reach fighting near Basra.

Mr Lloyd grew up in the East Midlands and one of his first reporting jobs was attending an inquest into his policeman father's death during a 999 call.

His body was flown back to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on 11 April.

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