Independent Inquiry Needed Into Vietnam Coverup

The Green Party wants an inquiry into the coverup of the accidental death of a Kiwi soldier in Vietnam.

“Media investigations have shown that many officers were involved in covering up the circumstances of Lance-Corporal Malcolm Sutherland’s death,” said Green Party Defence spokesperson Keith Locke.

“According to the TV3 20/20 report last night those who knew the truth included Victor 5 company commander John McGuire, the army chief of staff, Major General Dobson, and the head of the Defence Force General Birks.

“The army only disclosed the truth when media exposure was imminent.

“This seriously calls into question the credibility of the Defence Force.

“We need an independent inquiry into the extent of the coverup, to learn from it and stop it happening again.

“It’s not acceptable that our armed forces hides the truth to protect the reputation of an officer,” said Mr Locke.

“I have written to Defence Minister Max Bradford this morning, asking for him to set up an inquiry,” said Mr Locke.