Shadow transport minister Andy McDonald told The Argus it was “deeply concerning” Sussex Police officers investigating the tragedy were being hindered in their work after a High Court ruling yesterday.
The force took the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to court in order to see records about the sequence of events leading to the deaths of 11 men on August 22 last year.
The AAIB has video footage from the cockpit, statements made by pilot Andrew Hill in interviews and details of experiments and tests carried out after the Hawker Hunter crashed on to the A27.
But under UK and European law, this material cannot be disclosed to a third party without permission from a High Court judge.
So the fact that they had to go to court isn’t some bizarre attempt to ‘hide the truth’, merely the process they need to go through.
Andy McDonald, the shadow secretary for transport, said: “It is deeply concerning investigating police officers should be hindered in this way. They should have access to any materials necessary to bring justice to the families of those who tragically lost their lives. Far too often families find themselves in an uphill struggle to establish the facts of what happened to their loved ones.
Like in Mid Staffs, Andy…?
“This case is yet another challenge to the principle of access to justice. The law must be reviewed to ensure a situation such as this doesn’t arise again.”
His thoughts were echoed by Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas and Hove MP Peter Kyle.
Ms Lucas said: “This judgment appears to hinder a crucial police investigation into this tragic incident, and it could set a worrying precedent. We need an open justice system that best learns from the past and prevents tragedies like this occurring.”
You’ve got ‘an open justice system’, you daft mare! That’s what’s actually happening!
It went before a judge, he said ‘No’, and the results are therefore not disclosed, but the judge’s reasons for disallowing the disclosure are published in the media.
How much more open can you get?
Justice Singh said allowing police access to the statements made by Andy Hill would cause a “serious and obvious chilling effect which would tend to deter people from answering questions by the AAIB with the candour which is necessary. This would seriously hamper future accident investigations and protection of public safety by the learning of lessons which may help prevent similar accidents.”
A system the NHS should learn from…