Video footage provided by the US military appears to conflict with some of the allegations made in the book Hit & Run, the Attorney General says.
David Parker launched a Government inquiry this afternoon into allegations in the book that elite New Zealand soldiers killed civilians in Afghanistan.
In launching the inquiry, Parker noted that he had seen video footage which did not corroborate key aspects of Hit & Run – by Nicky Hager and John Stephenson – which prompted the investigation.
“The footage suggests that there was a group of armed individuals in the village,” Parker said.
That contradicted the “non-threatening” portrayal of the village by Hager and Stephenson, he said. The US military footage was around half an hour long and had not been seen by Hager or Stephenson.
However, there were still unanswered questions around the raid, and it remained a controversial issue a year after the book was released, Parker said.
“In light of that, and bearing in mind the need for the public to have confidence in the NZDF, I have decided in the public interest that an inquiry is warranted.”
The inquiry will be led by former Supreme Court judge Sir Terrence Arnold and former Labour Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer.