The father of a Midland soldier killed in Iraq ten years ago is planning to sue the Ministry of Defence for negligence.
Reg Keys said he hopes the legal action will achieve justice for the unlawful killing of his 21 year-old son Lance Corporal Tom Keys, from Solihull, and five other Royal Military Policemen murdered by a violent mob hear Basra in June 2003.
The move follows a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court last month that UK soldiers in war zones are covered by human rights laws.
Mr Keys said he is consulting with solicitor Simon McKay who represented SAS Sgt Danny Nightingale in his bid to block a retrial for illegally possessing a pistol and ammunition.
“It is early days, we need to meet up with the solicitor concerned, who is Simon McKay, who has discussed working on a pro bono basis for us.
“We are not bothered about financial gain in this action. It is about getting justice for the unlawful killing of our loved ones. The coroner’s statement after the inquest into their deaths clearly said that it was unacceptable to put them in that position.
“The order for them to attend the police station was not given in the fog of war.”
The five soldiers were brutally murdered when a 600-strong Iraqi mob attacked the Majar al-Kabir police station.
The Red Caps had gone to discuss a refurbishment of the building.
They did not realise that two days before paratroopers had fired rubber bullets at a hostile crowd in the town.
And on the day they attended, paras re-attended a separate part of the area.
An inquest into the deaths of the RMPs in March 2006 recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.
Coroner Nicholas Gardiner heard claims the men had antiquated radio equipment and only 50 rounds of ammunition rather than the 150 they were supposed to.
But he ruled that their deaths could not be avoided. An Army Board of Inquiry in 2004 had previously found “no conclusive evidence” that the deaths could have been prevented.
In 2010 eight Iraqis were arrested over the killings, but the charges against six were dropped .
The other two stood trial in Baghdad in October that year, only for the case to collapse after just two hours, sparking fresh outrage among the families .
It is believed that families of four of the six men who were killed are joining the latest legal action over their deaths.
But Anna Aston, whose 30 year-old husband Corporal Russ Aston is among those who lost their life has spoken out against it.
The 41 year-old, from Newhall, Derbyshire, said: “I have nothing against these family members and we have all grieved together, but I do feel this embarrassing and I have told them so.”
Anna who is raising her and Russ’s daughter Paygan, 11, said: “It was war and everything goes wrong in war – Russ knew that. That is the same for so many death sin both wars. What will happen if the families of all these soldiers bring claims? The situation would be ridiculous.
The other men who died in the ambush were Simon Hamilton-Jewell, 41, Paul Long, 42, Ben Hyde, 23, and Si Miller, 21.
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