UK inquiry starts hearings into Afghan extra-judicial killings’ claims


LONDON, – An inquiry investigating allegations that British special forces carried out dozens of extra-judicial killings in Afghanistan a decade ago will begin hearing evidence in public on Monday.
The independent inquiry was ordered by Britain’s defence ministry last December after a BBC TV documentary reported that soldiers from the elite Special Air Service (SAS) had killed 54 people in suspicious circumstances.
It also came after two families, who accuse the SAS of killing their relatives in 2011 and 2012, began legal action to demand judicial reviews of their cases.
“Our clients hope that the opening of this inquiry marks the end of ‘the wall of silence’ and obstruction that has confronted them over the last decade,” said Tessa Gregory from law firm Leigh Day which is representing families of 29 people who were killed.
“The bereaved families look to the inquiry to fearlessly uncover the truth of the deaths of their loved ones and to ensure that those responsible are held to account.”
The chair Charles Haddon-Cave has said the inquiry would examine whether there was unlawful activity by British military personnel between mid-2010 and mid-2013 during ‘deliberate detention operations’, and whether there was credible information of extra-judicial killings.