Legal action on “Hit and Run” deaths

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, August 19th, 2017 - 10 comments
Categories: accountability, afghanistan, bill english - Tags: , , , ,

As expected – Government faces legal action over Afghan civilian deaths

The Kiwi lawyers representing Afghan villagers at the centre of claims New Zealand SAS troops killed civilians in 2010 have filed proceedings against the Government in the Wellington High Court.

Top lawyers Deborah Manning, Rodney Harrison QC and Richard McLeod announced in March they were representing villagers killed or injured during the SAS-led raid and had spoken with their families. They also said they would be asking the Attorney General and Government for a full and independent inquiry into the event.

The lawyers believe the book and say Defence Force denials have misled the public. The claim no civilians were killed is a “cover up”, they say.

They are seeking a judicial review of the government’s referral of the matter to the Chief of Defence and his declining of an independent inquiry of the matter, claiming the government’s decision to refer the matter was wrong and the Chief of Defence stance on the inquiry was fundamentally flawed.

Govt taken to court over lack of Hit & Run inquiry

Lawyers acting for the Afghan villagers in the area the SAS allegedly targeted in Operation Burnham are taking the Government to court over its refusal to hold an independent inquiry.

Rodney Harrison, QC, said they wanted a judicial review of the “decision by the Government to decline to hold an independent inquiry into the Operation Burnham events and subsequent cover-up”.

They also want a review of the Government’s decision to refer calls for an inquiry to the Chief of the Defence Force “who had already taken a position in relation to the overall issue, and was biased”.

“What we’re seeking is a decision from the court that the refusal of the inquiry was wrong and should be revisited.”

Naturally –

Prime Minister Bill English said the timing of the proceedings was suspicious.

“I haven’t seen the details, but I’m not surprised that something like this may come up pre-election,” he told Newshub.

“Look, I’m sure there’s an element of people trying to put on some political pressure… You always expect something from Mr Hager in the run-up to the election.”

What vile spin that is from English.

10 comments on “Legal action on “Hit and Run” deaths”

  1. savenz 1

    The government needs to be accountable like everyone else. Sad they need legal action to make the right call on a independent enquiry and if found guilty reparation and apology to the villagers.

    • Heather Grimwood 1.1

      to savenz : Agree wholeheartedly.

    • Key was given a knighthood PRECISELY BECAUSE of Operation Burnham , Pike River , and , – the Panama Papers.

      This is how the big boys like to role.

      It wasn’t given because of services to humanity , – it was given because it makes it harder in the court of public opinion to press charges and take these matters to court.

      As Winston Peters said many , many months ago just after Key inexplicably ‘ left office ‘ :

      ‘ It was on account of administrative and accountability issues that we will be hearing more and more of in the coming weeks and months’ …

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3


      Since when do war criminals get to avoid prison? Confiscate Shonkey’s passport now.

  2. What vile spin that is from English.

    It’s all he’s got. In fact, as Dirty Politics showed, it’s all National’s ever got.

    • It’s all he’s got.

      Just what I was thinking. He has to go with this line because he can’t address the issue itself – not without laying all kinds of traps for journalists to catch him in once the case is heard, at least.

  3. tracey 3

    Bill English and the Nat. Governnent : Allergic to sunlight

  4. mary_a 4

    Justice for little Fatima hopefully, as well as other village victims of the illegal military activity!

  5. Incognito 5

    Bill English is going down in my esteem; Hit & Run was published in March this year but despite trying really hard the Government failed to put the lid on it. The fact that the Government is now being taken to Court is entirely its own making, from beginning to end. Please note that Nicky Hager is not a lawyer who is acting on behalf of the Afghan villagers – Bill English was erecting a straw man on a home-made pineapple pizza.

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