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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

INQUIRY CHANGES FOR MILITARY IN SCOTLAND WELCOMED

28/09/2015  

SAFEGUARDS ANNOUNCED BY SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT FOR SERVICE PERSONNEL
 
Campaigners have welcomed confirmation by the Scottish Government that changes are being introduced which will make Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAIs) mandatory for cases involving service personnel. Coroner's Inquests are currently mandatory in England and Wales, but FAIs are at the discretion of the Lord Advocate in Scotland. Cases such as the recent fatal collision of two RAF Tornado jets above the Moray Firth did not result in a Fatal Accident Inquiry.
 
The announcement of the planned changes were made today in the Scottish Parliament by Scottish Government Minister Paul Wheelhouse.
 
Campaigners described the changes as 'groundbreaking' and 'hugely significant'.
 
Westminster SNP Leader Angus Robertson MP who represents military bases at Lossiemouth and Kinloss has been campaigning for proceedings in Scotland for years. He said:
 
‘’These groundbreaking changes have been necessary for some time and I am delighted that the Scottish Government has made progress on this with the Ministry of Defence. Service personnel in Scotland and their families deserve the best protections and that includes inquiries into tragic cases involving fatalities. Hopefully the necessary changes will be introduced at Westminster without delay now that UK Ministers have given an agreement in principle to support such a change.’’
 
Aviation safety campaigner and former RAF engineer Jimmy Jones said:
 
 ‘’These changes are hugely significant. There is a very long list of tragic incidents involving fatalities of service personnel in Scotland where there was no FAI. This will now change, ending the anomaly that there are mandatory inquests into military fatalities in England and Wales but not Scotland. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Scottish Government and Angus Robertson MP who have worked hard to bring these changes about.’’

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