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Need for independent inquiry still remains

The need for an independent inquiry to get to the bottom of allegations still remains despite the Prime Minister’s stubborn refusal to call one, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.

“Bill English has again failed to do the right thing and call for an independent inquiry into the allegations set out in the Hit and Run book.

“If there was a chance that there were civilian casualties then we need to get to the bottom of it.

“The Prime Minister says he’s viewed ‘relevant parts’ of the video of the incident, rather than the entire video, and he’s satisfied entirely with the recommendations of the Chief of Defence.

“The accounts depicted by the Defence Force and the writers of Hit and Run present two very different viewpoints. Somewhere in the middle is the truth, and for public confidence in the integrity of the investigation and the actions of our troops we must have an independent inquiry.

“It’s now in the public arena that something might have gone wrong, so the public is entitled to know the truth.

“Unless there’s a process that can satisfy the need for an independent look into these allegations, that’s at arm’s length from the Defence Force, questions will remain.

“It’s important to end any suspicion about the conduct of our forces overseas. We can’t risk the fine reputation of our troops to be undermined by a perception that these allegations were not properly investigated by a truly independent inquiry,” says Andrew Little.