Media have been reporting that a SNCO in 2 SCOTS is under investigation by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) over the death of an Iraqi civilian in 2003. The soldier had been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Army in 2005. The BAFF Chairman commented:
"Without going into the individual case, I would be concerned if a prosecution was to proceed now so long after the original process. Unless compelling new evidence has emerged, the original result should stand. I know the Iraq Historic Allegations Team is under pressure to bring its difficult work towards a conclusion, but any decision on prosecution should be made by the independent Director Service Prosecutions without undue regard to external pressures.
"I don't say that a decision not to prosecute can never be revisited, but overturning such a clear decision in this case would worry many other service personnel whose actions have come under proper scrutiny in the past, and who like this soldier were cleared at the time of any wrongdoing."
The UK National Defence Association was quoted in the print edition of the Scottish Daily Record as stating about this case that "The British and Scottish governments should be more robust in sticking up for our military" [Our bold].
We respectfully don't agree with the UKNDA spokesman on that particular point.
The Scottish Government is engaged with important areas of support to the service community and veterans under the armed forces covenant. And individual politicians like anyone else may wish to comment.
But it would be constitutionally inappropriate for the Scottish Government, as such, to seek to intervene in this service justice issue, and unreasonable to criticise it for not doing so.
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