Terry Lloyd

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Terence Ellis Lloyd (21 November 1952 – 22 March 2003) was a British television journalist well known for his reporting from the Middle East. He was killed by U.S. troops while covering the 2003 invasion of Iraq for ITN. An inquest jury in the United Kingdom before Assistant Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker returned a verdict of unlawful killing on 13 October 2006 following an eight-day hearing.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Derby, Derbyshire,[1] where he worked for Raymonds News Agency, and later moved to become a regional TV reporter for ATV/Central Television. He joined ITN in 1983. He was the brother of the television actor, Kevin Lloyd, and uncle of James Lloyd (actor)

Career[edit]

In 1988 he broke the news that Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons in Halabja, killing 5,000 Kurds. In 1999 he became the first journalist to enter Kosovo.

Death[edit]

Lloyd died on 22 March 2003 while covering the events taking place during the 2003 invasion of Iraq for ITN. Working as an independent reporter not "embedded" with U.S. or UK forces, Lloyd and his team of two cameramen and an interpreter were caught in crossfire during fighting near the Shatt Al Basra Bridge in Basra, Iraq,[2] between U.S. and Iraqi forces. His body and that of his Lebanese interpreter, Hussein Osman, were recovered and it was later discovered they had both been shot by U.S. forces on the road to Basra.[3] The French cameraman Frédéric Nérac is still officially classed as missing, presumed dead. The Belgian cameraman Daniel Demoustier survived. Terry Lloyd's funeral was reported on ITN news bulletins by Mark Austin on ITV and Samira Ahmed on Channel 4.

Investigation[edit]

The Royal Military Police (RMP) carried out an investigation into the incident. Major Kay Roberts, an RMP investigator, testified at the inquest on Terry Lloyd that a videotape of the incident, taken by a cameraman attached to the U.S. unit that killed Terry Lloyd, had been edited before it had been passed on to the British investigation. The RMP forensics expert who examined the tape concluded that about 15 minutes had been removed from the start of the recording. Roberts testified at the inquest that she was sent the tape "some months" after the incident[4] and that she was told by the U.S. authorities that the footage they handed over was "everything that they had".

The ITN team were driving in two cars both clearly marked as press vehicles. Frédéric Nérac and Hussein Osman were in the car behind Terry Lloyd and Daniel Demoustier. They encountered an Iraqi convoy at the Shatt Al Basra Bridge in Basra, Iraq. Nérac and Osman were taken out of their car and made to get into an Iraqi vehicle. The British investigation into the incident established the convoy was escorting a Baath Party leader to Basra. American forces shot at the Iraqi convoy, killing Osman: Nérac's body has not been recovered, but investigation suggests it is unlikely he could have survived.[5]

Frédéric Nérac's wife Fabienne Mercier-Nérac testified that she had received a letter from U.S. authorities who denied being at the scene when the ITN News team was attacked.

Demoustier and Lloyd, still in the ITN car, were caught in crossfire between the Iraqi Republican Guard and U.S. forces. Lloyd was hit by an Iraqi bullet, an injury from which he could have recovered. He was put into a civilian minibus that had stopped to pick up casualties. Forensic evidence presented at the inquest shows U.S. forces shot at the minibus after it had turned to leave the area, killing Terry Lloyd outright. Demoustier survived.

Inquest[edit]

The inquest on Terry Lloyd's death was held in October 2006 in Oxfordshire, and lasted eight days, recording the verdict on 13 October 2006. The Assistant Deputy Coroner, Andrew Walker, recorded a verdict of unlawful killing by U.S. forces, and announced he would write to the Director of Public Prosecutions asking for him to investigate the possibility of bringing charges.

Andrew Walker formally cleared ITN of any blame for Terry Lloyd's death, and said that in his view the U.S. tanks had been first to open fire on the ITN crew's two vehicles. However, in the same document, he says he "was unable to determine whether the bullets that killed Lloyd in southern Iraq on 22 March 2003, were fired by U.S. ground forces or helicopters." Lloyd "would probably have survived the first [Iraqi] bullet wound" but was killed as he was being carried away from the fighting in the civilian minibus. Walker said: "If the vehicle was perceived as a threat, it would have been fired on before it did a U-turn. This would have resulted in damage to the front of the vehicle. I have no doubt it was the fact that the vehicle stopped to pick up survivors that prompted the Americans to fire on that vehicle."[6] The National Union of Journalists said Terry Lloyd's killing was a war crime.[7]

After the Inquest verdict[edit]

On 25 October 2006 Sir Menzies Campbell Leader of the Liberal Democrats and MP for North-East Fife raised the matter at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs).

He asked

"When may we expect the Attorney-General to make an application for the extradition and trial in Britain of those American soldiers against whom there is a prima facie case for the unlawful killing in Iraq of the ITN journalist Terry Lloyd?" ( Hansard Column 1512 and also BBC news website [8]).

On 19 March 2007, BBC reported that ITN released the names of the 16 U.S. Marines in the unit involved in Lloyd's death.[9]

Despite Andrew Walker's verdict at the inquest, the Crown Prosecution Service decided in July 2008 that there was "insufficient evidence" to prosecute Lloyd's killers.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Soldier tells inquest of US fire". BBC News. 6 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-07. 
  2. ^ "Cameraman's fate remains unsolved". BBC News. 4 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-04. 
  3. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (6 October 2006). "Lloyd shot dead by US troops, inquest told". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2006-10-06. 
  4. ^ "Lloyd video shown for first time". BBC News. 10 October 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  5. ^ "Lloyd video shown for first time". BBC News. 10 October 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  6. ^ "US forces killed ITN man in Iraq". BBC News. 13 October 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  7. ^ IFJ challenges US after unlawful killing verdict[dead link]
  8. ^ "UK | UK Politics | Extradite US soldiers - Campbell". BBC News. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  9. ^ "Lloyd death: ITN names US troops". BBC. 19 March 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  10. ^ Press Association writer (28 July 2008). "CPS rules out Terry Lloyd prosecution". The Independent (London). 

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