Coroner agrees not to show Sun video at inquest

A coroner today reluctantly agreed to a US demand not to show in open court a video leaked to The Sun which shows British soldier Matty Hull being killed in a friendly fire incident.

US pilot Colonel Gus Kohntopp mistook Lance Corporal Matty Hull’s column of tanks for enemy rocket launchers and opened fire.

Members of Lance Corporal Hull’s family were told there was no recording from the cockpit of the A10 anti-tank aircraft, but a video was handed to Oxfordshire assistant deputy coroner Andrew Walker after the inquest opened earlier this month. Days later it was leaked to The Sun newspaper.

Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker said he would take a “pragmatic” approach to showing the video.

Addressing a pre-inquest hearing before the full inquest on 12 March, he said: “I can say quite categorically that if it were not for the potential delay and distress this would cause the family, I would not be willing to be bound by an agreement with the US as to use of evidence that I consider crucial to this inquest.

“I would be wrong to accept that the US are correct in seeking to bind the hands of the coroners’ court in this way but in these circumstances I feel that in order to make progress and provide the family with closure, it seems to me that I must act in this way as far as the copy of that video is concerned.”

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