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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 15:17 GMT
'Friendly fire' family view video
Still of 'friendly fire' cockpit footage
Cockpit footage of the 'friendly fire' incident was leaked to the Sun
The family of a British soldier killed by "friendly fire" have seen a video of the incident at an inquest.

Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull, 25, of Windsor, died when US A-10 "tankbuster" pilots opened fire on a UK convoy in southern Iraq in 2003.

L/Cpl Hull's family saw the full US cockpit tape, lasting more than an hour, with an MoD official present.

The MoD had refused the let the video be used but changed its mind after the tape was leaked to the Sun newspaper.

Last month, Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker ruled that the footage could be shown at the hearing in Oxford, but not played in open court.

The Hull family will have another chance to view the video, along with the coroner, and ask questions.

Operating procedures

The inquest heard that if the Americans had as strict rules as the British on opening fire the incident would not have happened.

A British soldier, Corporal of Horse Stuart Matthews, who was in the area near Basra at the time, showed the court a document showing the differences between British forces operating procedures and those of their US counterparts.

Mr Walker asked: "If those UK mandatory requirements had been followed, do you think this would have happened?"

Cpl Matthews replied: "I don't sir."

Rules of engagement

An MoD lawyer said the US had turned down Mr Walker's request to see a full version of the American investigation into the incident and the training records of the pilots.

Matty Hull
Matty Hull died in an attack by US A-10 planes near Basra

The coroner said he wanted to know about US rules of engagement and compare them to the UK's.

The lawyer responded that the MoD did not have a copy and that the Americans refused to provide one.

"So UK forces are working in a situation where they don't know the rules of engagement of the American forces working alongside them?" Mr Walker asked.

"I can't answer that question sir," she replied.

Thorough investigations

No American witnesses have been put forward for the inquest, which resumed on Monday and is expected to deliver a verdict on Wednesday.

L/Cpl Hull died and four other members of the Household Cavalry Regiment were injured in the attack on 28 March, 2003.

Earlier on Monday, deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in the UK, David Johnson, said investigations into such incidents were "extremely thorough".

He told the BBC: "They're aimed at, in the first instance, preventing a recurrence, and in the second seeking to determine whether there is culpability, whether there should be charges, whether they're administrative in nature or whether potentially criminal, which would take place under the law which we expect these individuals to conduct themselves."

He added: "I've no doubt that were there culpability here under our laws and procedures, that culpability would have been pursued."

Coroner slams MoD over Iraq tape
01 Feb 07 |  England

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