The independent inquiry into alleged unlawful killings by special forces in Afghanistan was officially launched on Wednesday.
Here, the PA news agency looks at why the probe has been commissioned and what it will involve.
– Who commissioned the inquiry?
The independent statutory inquiry was commissioned by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace under the Inquiries Act 2005.
– Why was the inquiry commissioned?
– Who are the Saifullah and Noorzai families?
The Saifullah and Noorzai families brought judicial review proceedings against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2019 and 2020, which challenged the MoD’s failure to investigate the deaths of members of their families during night raids.
– Which matters are the inquiry tasked with examining?
The probe will look at whether Royal Military Police investigations were effectively and properly conducted, whether there is credible information that unlawful killings were carried out by UK armed forces, whether any unlawful killings were covered up at any stage, and what lessons can be learned.
– What time frame will the inquiry look at?
The inquiry will look at incidents between mid-2010 and mid-2013.
– Which Royal Military Police investigations are being scrutinised?
– Which night raids are being looked at?
The probe will examine two raids in particular – one on February 16 2011 and one on October 18 2012 – in which four members of both the Saifullah and Noorzai families died.
– Why might some inquiry hearings be held in private?
Lord Justice Haddon-Cave said many hearings would have to be held in private due to “reasons to do with national security” that are “highly sensitive”.
– What will happen if the inquiry finds evidence of unlawful activity?
The inquiry’s chairman said anyone found to have broken the law should be “referred to the relevant authorities for investigation”.