[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 15:56 GMT
Widow speaks of video tape sorrow
Susan Hull
Susan Hull wants to discover the truth about her husband's death

The wife of the British soldier killed by "friendly fire" says watching a cockpit video recording of the attack was "immensely sad".

Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull, 25, from Berkshire, died in an attack by US warplanes in Iraq in March 2003.

Susan Hull said her husband's adjourned inquest was about "establishing the truth of the matter".

Tony Blair told MPs he "deeply regretted" the distress caused to L/Cpl Hull's family by the inquest's delay.

Mrs Hull, a primary school teacher, said in an exclusive interview with the BBC that she did not want to be "political" about her husband's death.

"I really don't want to be political about this at all. It's not my intention.

"This is about a single person's death and establishing the truth of the matter."

The coroner was forced to adjourn the inquest into L/Cpl Hull's death when US authorities refused to release the cockpit footage.

Mrs Hull said she was pleased that the leaked video footage had been seen by the public.

"I'm very pleased that the video has been made public and that it can be used as part of the inquest, hopefully."

Mrs Hull also said she wanted the coroner to record a verdict of unlawful killing "only if that's the right verdict".

She explained how she felt watching the cockpit footage which covered the period of the last moments of her husband's life.

This is about a single person's death and establishing the truth of the matter
Susan Hull

"It was immensely sad to see what you have always imagined in your worst imagination.

"In some ways knowing something is better than not knowing. At least I know more about it.

"It doesn't show anything particularly graphic. If it was anything that detailed I wouldn't have watched it."

She added that L/Cpl Hull would not have understood why the argument over the tape footage had erupted.

"I don't think he would have understood how something he believed in so strongly could become so entangled, and so particularly contentious.

"He was doing his job and that's what this inquest is all about."

Mr Blair has pledged to deal better with such matters as the delay in the future.

He told the Commons at question time that he believed the Ministry of Defence had acted in "good faith" throughout the process.

The case has prompted accusations of the MoD conspiring with the Americans in a cover-up of his death.

Matty Hull
Matty Hull died in an attack by US A10 warplanes

The prime minister was answering questions on the matter from Conservative leader David Cameron.

Mr Cameron said: "When mistakes happen, do you agree with me that the MoD owes it to the families concerned to provide them with as much information as quickly as possible about the circumstances in which their loved ones were killed?"

Mr Blair replied: "Yes, of course, I agree that that is what the MoD should do. We deeply regret the distress caused to L/Cpl Matty Hull's family by the delay in concluding the inquest into how he died.

"It is obviously particularly distressing when a death occurs as a result of friendly fire.

"Unfortunately, in situations of war, these things can happen. But I think in those circumstances it is particularly incumbent on us to make sure we take very carefully and sensitively the concerns of the families.

"We will look again, as a result of what has happened these past few weeks, to make sure - and I hope I can say this with some confidence - that in similar such circumstances we are able to deal with it in a better way."


SEE ALSO
'Friendly fire' footage revealed
06 Feb 07 |  England
Coroner slams MoD over Iraq tape
01 Feb 07 |  England



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific