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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 05:23 GMT
New inquest sought for TA soldier
The family of a Territorial Army soldier who died of heatstroke in Iraq are to seek a judicial review to get a fresh inquest into his death.

Lawyers for the family of Private Jason Smith, from Hawick, said more soldiers could die if lessons were not learned.

Pte Smith, 32, fell ill in temperatures of 60C (140F) and died in August 2003 at the Al Amara stadium, southern Iraq.

Andrew Walker, Oxfordshire's assistant deputy coroner, recorded a narrative verdict at an inquest last November.

He said Pte Smith's death was "caused by a serious failure to recognise and take appropriate steps to address the difficulty that he had in adjusting to the climate."

Internal report

But the Smith family said the verdict was inadequate and a new inquest was needed to establish the full facts.

They are also threatening legal action against the Ministry of Defence to force it to release an internal report into the death.

Witnesses have told BBC Radio Four's File On Four requests to provide air conditioning went unheeded and Pte Smith was not given oxygen which could have saved his life.

One soldier left permanently disabled by heatstroke said officers threatened to cut leave if any more soldiers reported sick with heatstroke.

An MoD statement said it was unhelpful to re-examine facts that had already been looked at by a coroner.

Hear the full story on Radio 4: File on 4 Tue 30 Jan 2000 GMT or online at the File on 4 website



SEE ALSO
Families 'sent soldiers supplies'
09 Nov 06 |  South of Scotland
TA soldier found dead in Iraq
14 Aug 03 |  Scotland

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