British TV Journalist 'Unlawfully Killed' by US Forces in Iraq: Coroner

Journalist Terry Lloyd (inset) who was killed by so-called friendly fire

A coroner ruled Friday that British television journalist Terry Lloyd was unlawfully killed by US forces in southern Iraq in 2003 and said he would try to ensure that those responsible were prosecuted.

Following his verdict, Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker said he would write to the director of Public Prosecutions "to see whether any steps can be taken to bring the perpetrators responsible for this to justice."

Lloyd was killed, together with Lebanese interpreter Hussein Osman and French cameraman Fred Nerac, near the Shatt al-Basra Bridge outside Basra, Iraq's second city, on March 22, 2003, the coroner said.

The 50-year-old Lloyd, a correspondent for ITN News, was shot in the back after getting caught up in US and Iraqi crossfire, then shot in the head by US forces as he was taken away in a minibus for medical treatment.

"I have no doubt that it was an unlawful act to fire on this minibus," Walker said.

The verdict had been requested by the family of Lloyd.

Concluding the inquest, Walker praised the dedication and professionalism of Lloyd and his colleagues and said no blame should be put on to ITN News over its preparations before the mission to Iraq.

"It is only now that the sequence of events that led to this tragedy can be discovered, for a tragedy it is when the lives of innocent civilians are lost," he said.

"I am certain that the world is a lesser place following their sad death.

"Their professionalism and dedication in the face of danger is and can only be admired by those they left behind."

Source: AFP

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