Afghan villagers’ lawyers go to High Court

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RADIO NZ 18 August 2017

The lawyers acting for Afghan villagers caught up in a raid allegedly involving the SAS have gone to the High Court to try to get a government inquiry.

Rodney Harrison QC, left, Deborah Manning, and Richard McLeod announce they are to act for Afghan families affected by the 2010 SAS raid.

Rodney Harrison QC, left, Deborah Manning, and Richard McLeod announced in March they were acting for the Afghan families affected by the 2010 raid. Photo: RNZ / Brad White

The book Hit & Run, written by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson and published earlier this year, alleged several civilians were either killed or injured in the 2010 Afghanistan raid, which involved New Zealand special forces.

It also claimed homes were destroyed, wounded people were not treated, and a prisoner was mistreated.

In April, Prime Minister Bill English said there was no basis for an inquiry.

But the lawyers – Rodney Harrison QC, Deborah Manning, and Richard McLeod – said today that decision was unlawful and they had filed papers seeking a judicial review.

In June, the United Nations Committee Against Torture asked the government to report on what measures it had put in place to fully investigate the allegations about the raids.