MPs back secret inquests…

MPs have given their support to Government plans to hold inquests in secret. It means the secretary of state can ‘certify’ an inquest to be held in private, if it affects national security, the relationship between the UK and another country or the prevention or detection of crime. While a high court judge would have to approve the certificate, it would mean that, for example, inquests into some deaths in jails or police custody could he held in secret, or the deaths of British troops caused by ‘friendly fire’ from a coalition force. It’s likely that the inquests of Dr David Kelly, Jean Charles de Menezes and numerous members of the armed forces would have been held behind closed doors under the Government proposals. It’s pretty despicable stuff, in my opinion, and the Government has been less than convincing in its arguments for putting the legislation forward.

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