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International | Anti-War

Statement on Tom Hurndall's Death
by International Solidarity Movement
Thursday Jan 15th, 2004 12:20 AM
Tom Hurndall , the British Photographer shot in Gaza while shepherding young children out of the line of fire, died this week.
TOM HURNDALL DIES AS FAMILY RECEIVE NEWS OF THE INDICTMENT
OF HIS KILLER

http://www.tomhurndall.co.uk/press-release-14-1-04.asp

Tom Hurndall , the British Photographer shot in Gaza
while shepherding young children out of the line of
fire, died Monday night at 7.45pm . His death
came nine months after an incident in which he was
shot in the head by an IDF soldier which left him in a
vegetative state. The traumatic nature of his
injuries has meant that at any time Tom has been
vulnerable to serious infection and his death came
after his body was unsuccessful in overcoming
an episode of Pneumonia.

At a hearing on Monday, a soldier arrested last week
in connection with the shooting of Tom Hurndall, has
finally been indicted on six charges :
Aggravated Assault; two counts of Obstruction of
Justice; Incitement to False Testimony; False
Testimony; Improper Conduct.

The decision of the court to prosecute the soldier on
a charge of Aggravated Assault rather than attempted
murder is based on the assumption that the
soldier did not intend to murder Tom. The family
believes that based on its own extensive investigation
and the soldiers testimony that he shot Tom using
an advanced telescopic lens, it is improbable that the
shot which entered Tom's forehead was intended to do
anything other than kill.

The family will be pressing its lawyers to ensure that
the appropriate charge - murder, is applied in this
case. The family lawyers were advised by the
prosecuting judge yesterday afternoon that in the
event of Tom's death, the charges are likely to be
changed. The new charges shall be either
manslaughter or murder. The maximum penalty for
Manslaughter is 20 years imprisonment and for Murder
there is only one penalty - life imprisonment.

Tom's family have made it clear that they will be
satisfied with nothing less than the full prosecution
for the person responsible for murdering Tom and
they expect the imposition of the maximum penalty in
this respect. They additionally expect that the
harshest penalties should be imposed on all those
involved in the obstruction of justice.

NB: A second soldier has been detained and is expected
to be indicted on charges of Obstructing Justice and
False Testimony.

The indictment of this soldier and his testimony have
totally destroyed the credibility of the initial IDF
investigation and Field Report. It was this Field
Report - presented to the British Embassy in Tel Aviv
and later to the family of Tom Hurndall last May, that
totally exonerated the soldier(s) responsible in
the shooting of Tom Hurndall. It is very much the case
that if it were not for the ceaseless campaigning and
lobbying on the part of Tom Hurndall's family and
friends and in particular the family's own
investigation (which amassed 14 independent eye
witness statements along with photographic and
ballistic evidence) a military police investigation is
not likely to have been instigated and the truth would
have remained uncovered. The family now assert that
the existing initial inquiry procedure is by its
nature flawed and prone to abuse and they ask that the
IDF immediately review its initial inquiry procedure
with a view to replacing it with an independent
inquiry.

They further call on the Israeli Army to radically
examine the current rules of engagement and to take
steps to eradicate the existing culture of impunity
which exists in the Occupied Territories. The family
hope that the prosecution of those responsible for the
shooting of Tom Hurndall and the prosecution of
those responsible for the deliberate fabrication of
evidence, will send the strongest message to all
soldiers on the ground in the Occupied Territories
'that the shooting or killing of innocent civilians
and breaches in basic human rights will not be
tolerated.'

END

For further information please contact Carl Arrindell
- Family spokesperson
on 07799 768768 or 07956 997 497. Email
carl [at] tomhurndall.co.uk

Also, please see: http://www.palsolidarity.org


http://www.tomhurndall.co.uk


http://www.ism-london.org/tom-action.html