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Afghans pull out of probe into raid by NZ forces

Afghans pull out of probe into raid by NZ forces

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On
Jun 18, 2019 - 10:30

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghan villagers have pulled out of an ongoing inquiry into Operation Burnham by New Zealand’s Special Air Service (SAS), says a media report.

However, the probe into allegations that six civilians were killed and another 15 injured in the raid would go ahead, despite the pullout of the victims’ relatives.

“The Inquiry remains confident that it will get to the truth of the matters under scrutiny despite the withdrawal of the Afghan villagers as core participants,” prosecutors said in a statement.

Two weeks ago, the Inquiry -- in response to previous concerns of counsel for the villagers -- had proposed travel to Afghanistaninfo-icon to hear evidence directly from the villagers.

”It has carefully struck a balance between safeguarding classified information and the identity of all witnesses while meeting the principles of justice.”

The withdrawal of the Afghan villagers would not significantly impact the Inquiry’s work as it had a wide range of information and sources available to it, the statement added.

A spokesman for the Department of Internal Affairs said the inquiry remained confident it would "get to the truth" of what happened in Afghanistan in August 2010.

Human rights lawyer Rodney Harrison QC told reporters his clients had lost confidence in the $7 million Operation Burnham inquiry.

The villagers were completely disillusioned with the process that had heard the vast majority of evidence behind closed doors, the lawyer was quoted as saying.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

 

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