By Wale Azeez
Campaigns for a criminal investigation into the killing in Israel of film-maker James Miller have led to an order that the weapons used in the incident be rounded up.
The British journalist was shot by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip in May and constant pressure has forced the Advocate General of the Israeli Defence Force to give the command.
Human rights lawyer Avigdor Feldman, representing the family, confirmed that the IDF’s Advocate General had “given the order to secure the guns and rifles used by the soldiers who were involved in the incident which led to Mr Miller’s death”.
Family and friends of Miller have been calling for the IDF to find the weapons of the soldiers patrolling Gaza on 2 May – the night Miller was killed – so that a gun can be matched to the fatal bullet. Journalist organisations, British broadcasters led by Channel 4 and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also called on Israeli authorities to carry out a wide-ranging inquiry by the military police and a judge.
Only a criminal investigation could prompt the fuller examination of the guns.
Freddy Mead, an independent ballistics expert appointed by Miller’s family, identified the 5.56mm bullet that killed Miller. He filed a report that confirmed the autopsy findings that Miller died from a single shot through the neck. He also confirmed that there is enough rifling on the bullet to identify the gun that shot Miller.
Miller’s widow Sophy said the family was pleased with the IDF’s co-operation.
“We now encourage the IDF to move swiftly to conclude their report so that a criminal investigation can take place and full forensic testing can match the gun to the bullet that killed James.”
Miller’s brother and sister are planning to travel to Israel on 7 July.