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Wednesday, 3 July, 2002, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Soldier's killers 'walking away'
Royal Engineers carry the coffin of Ian Collins
Sapper Collins died while driving through Skopje
The parents of a British soldier killed while on peacekeeping duties in Macedonia say their son has been "let down" by the UK Government.

Sue and Kevin Collins have begun a private prosecution of the people involved after the Macedonian state prosecutor said there was not enough evidence to proceed.

Sapper Ian Collins, from Sheffield, died when the vehicle he was in was stoned by a crowd of youths.

His parents have returned to Macedonia to appeal for witnesses to his death.


They have all let my son down, and yet they are all walking away

Sue Collins

On Wednesday Mr and Mrs Collins, from Sheffield, said the British Government and the Ministry of Defence could have done more to help the case.

Sapper Collins, of 9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers, died last August after he was hit on the head by a piece of concrete thrown through the windscreen of a vehicle he was driving in the capital, Skopje.

Mrs Collins told BBC Radio 4's Today programme she hoped the private prosecution would result in several individuals being called to account for her son's death.

"It is something that we need to do. We have just got to wait now until we are actually given a date when they can actually be taken in front of a judge.

"We don't know yet when that date is going to be. It is just a matter of waiting. But obviously the Macedonians are very slow."

Mrs Collins said she doubted whether the Macedonian justice system would allow the case to proceed in the way they would like.

Statements changed

"Not really no. We have actually come out to offer a reward for any information leading to a conviction.

Sapper Ian Collins
Ian Collins was collecting weapons from rebels

"I think a lot of people could have tried a bit harder. Not just the Macedonians, the British Government as well, the Ministry of Defence, everybody could have tried a bit harder.

"They have all let my son down, and yet they are all walking away, basically.

"The information is there in the documents we have got. [Individuals] did admit to doing this, and we have got the signed confessions.

"Statements were taken without the judge or a lawyer being present, so what they are saying is that they can't be used against them.

"But the judge was sent for three times and didn't appear, so by the time the judge got there, they have got a lawyer who advised them to change their statements, which they have done."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Sapper Collins' mother Sue Collins
"They did admit to doing it and we've got the signed confessions"

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