A former British Army officer said he is “broken” after learning he is being investigated for the eighth time over the death of an Iraqi teenager 15 years ago.
News that Major Robert Campbell, of the Royal Engineers, will face another official inquiry – the eighth – into his conduct in 2003 following the death of 19-year-old Said Shabram, is deeply worrying. Major Campbell and two colleagues were investigated after Mr Shabram drowned in a river, but the Army Prosecuting Authority did not press charges. After the three soldiers were cleared of manslaughter, there were repeated follow up inquiries into the incident, including a civil case, and an investigation by the now defunct Iraq Historical Allegations Team (Ihat). Ihat was set up as an independent body to investigate allegations of murder and torture by British troops in Iraq.
News of the latest inquiry comes just weeks after Major Campbell, who specialises in ordnance disposal, received a medal for good conduct and long service.
There is no way that an eighth investigation is acceptable. This is unnecessary hounding of a man who is clearly deserving of merit for good conduct and good service. If prosecutors failed to prove their case on so many occasions, with no new evidence coming to light, why should they be allowed to try again?
Mr Shabram’s death is to be investigated by the Iraq Fatality Investigations (IFI) – a government funded body that describes itself as “a form of inquest and judicial inquiry”. It says on its website its task is to determine the circumstances in which a death occurred and is not concerned with deciding criminal or civil liability
Major Campbell, who is now disabled after being wounded in service, said, “This sordid process has broken me. I was assured it was finally over and shortly after that I received a long service and good conduct medal. I received an email telling me they are starting another investigation, which after seven investigations seems unspeakably cruel and vindictive.”
Leave Major Campbell alone. If anyone needs investigating here it is the IFI.
There will be a protest today in Westminster for Major Campbell. As well as supporting the Major, campaigners for Veteran Housing will make their case. The Squires are with them in spirit.
A Message from Campaigner Norman McGuigan:
Calling Order FOR THIS WEDNESDAY 7th MARCH
Boots needed on the ground London Westminster. Venue Red Lion Public House 14.00hrs for 14.30. Photo shoot followed by media at 15.00. This is in support of Major Campbell who we all know is being investigated for the Eighth time. Following this I will be pushing on the fight to gain houses for veterans. Guys let’s do this in a manner that we know best and that is in mass numbers. Boots on the ground and let’s get our voices heard. This is not only Maj Campbell’s fight it is our fight. Association attire or smart dress with beret / head wear if you wish.