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Friday, February 27, 1998 Published at 17:42 GMT

World: Americas

Journalist's death 'unlawful'
image: [ Carlos Cardoen: the arms dealer blamed by Mr Moyle's family for his death ]
Carlos Cardoen: the arms dealer blamed by Mr Moyle's family for his death

An inquest into the death of a British defence journalist has found that he was unlawfully killed.

The verdict comes nearly eight years after Jonathan Moyle was found hanging in a wardrobe in Chile.

Jonathan Moyle, the 28-year-old editor of the magazine Defence Helicopter World, was found dead in room 1406 of Santiago's Carrera Hotel in March, 1990.

The original inquest into the death of Mr Moyle, whose family are from east Devon, opened in Exeter in November, 1990.

But it was adjourned until now by coroner Richard Van Oppen after a pathologist said his inquiries could not be completed because vital organs had already been removed.

Family insist Moyle was murdered

The dead man's father, retired teacher Tony Moyle, 68, has said there was "no question" that his son was killed because he was about to expose an arms deal between Iraq and a Chilean arms dealer.

Mr Moyle, who claimed his son was injected with a fatal dose of poison after first being sedated with drugged coffee, has spent 10,000 in a bid to bring the killers to justice.

The Chilean authorities at first dismissed the death of the former RAF helicopter pilot as suicide.

But in December 1991, following pressure from the Moyle family, a Chilean judicial investigation concluded he had been murdered.

Mr Moyle had been attending a defence conference in Chile when he was found dead in the hotel.

In 1993, after an identity parade in Chile failed to identify a suspect, the murder hunt was halted.

'Too close to the truth'

The family's claim of a cover-up has been backed up by a book on Mr Moyle's death written by Wensley Clark. In his book - The Valkyrie Operation - Mr Clark alleges that Mr Moyle was killed by local hitmen.

He further alleges that the hitmen were hired by to protect a Chilean arms dealer's 300m plan to sell helicopter "gunship kits" to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein just before the Gulf War.

The arms dealer, Carlos Cardoen, denies he had anything to do with Mr Moyle's death and has produced his own website proclaiming his innocence.

The investigation into Jonathan Moyle's death was reopened by the Santiago Court of Appeal late last year following representations from a lawyer representing the family.

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Carlos Cardoen's website (in Spanish)

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