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Another Murky Story From The NZ Army

14 January 2002

A full independent inquiry into the latest allegations over Private Leonard Manning's death is needed if the public are to have any faith in the New Zealand Army, according to National's Defence spokesperson Max Bradford.

" The questions raised by Warwick Roger in his article in the latest North and South magazine must be answered. It would appear that the Army have been less than honest with their own secret inquiry.

" Defence Minister Mark Burton once again has shown he is not up to the job as he is not asking the Army the hard questions he should be and as a result we have what clearly on the surface appears to be yet another army cover-up.

"While the Army's own inquiry concluded that Private Manning's death could not have been prevented I am not so sure having read these latest accounts and question whether the personal with him in East Timor did have sufficient training for the circumstances.

"If there are lessons to be have been learnt then people must admit mistakes were made and Mark Burton is doing no-one a favour in allowing a cover-up to take place.

"f he is so sure that all is well then he will surely be more than happy to hold an inquiry. If not, then what he hiding and who is he protecting," says Mr Bradford.

Ends

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