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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 23 March 2004



Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the initial achievements of (a) the Provisional Reconstruction Team in Mazar-e-Sharif and (b) the other provisional reconstruction teams. [162966]

Mr. Ingram: In its first eight months the United Kingdom-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Mazar-e Sharif has made good progress against all its objectives. The achievements of other PRTs is a matter for their own Lead Nations but, collectively, they all contribute towards the wider goal of restoring a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.


Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) where and on what date (a) Rhadi Nama, (b) Ahmed Jabber Karrem, (c) Nadhem Abdulla, (d) Abd Al Jalba Mouse Ali, (e) Hazma Abdul Hussein Al-Askary, (f) Waed Jabber Raheem and (g) Jasim Yassim Jabbar Al-Shuirillway died; and what the cause of death was in each case; [154352]

Mr. Ingram: The deaths occurred within the United Kingdom Area of Operations, though it is not the purpose of the SIB inquiry to determine the cause of death.

NameDate of death
Rhadi Nama8 May 2003
Ahmed Jabber Kareem8 May 2003
Nadhem Abdullah11 May 2003
Abd Al Jubba Mousa Ali17 May 2003
Hazma Abdul Hussein Al-Askery18 May 2003
Waed Jabber Raheem26 May 2003
Jasim Yassim Jabber Al-Shimillwy15 June 2003
Hussan Said Shaba Al-Bata24 October 2003
Said Shabram24 May 2003
Waleed Fiaz Mezban2 September 2003
Baha Nasheem Mohammed15 September 2003
Hassan Abbad Said2 August 2003
Ather Karen Al-Mowafakia29 April 2003
Ali Salaam Aziz Mohammed3 May 2003
Dyab Rahman Nasser5 May 2003

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Chris Rowlands

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the discharge of Chris Rowlands from the Army. [162402]

Mr. Caplin: In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, I am unable to make public any personal data relating to Chris Rowlands unless the hon. Member has his explicit consent.

Service Communications

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many departmental personnel are involved in communications activities for the (a) Naval Service, (b) Army and (c) Royal Air Force. [162960]

Mr. Caplin: Within the Ministry of Defence headquarters' corporate communications organisation there are a number of staff employed primarily on the communications activities of the three single Services. As at 22 March 2004 the number of such personnel (including support staff and photographers) was:

(a) Royal Navy(1)19
(b) Army11
(c) Royal Air Force13

(1) This includes a team of four Naval photographers who undertake a number of joint service tasks.


Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met his European Union counterparts to discuss matters relating to the security situation in (a) Kosovo and (b) Serbia-Montenegro. [163223]

Mr. Hoon: I regularly meet my European Union counterparts to discuss defence matters, including those relating to the Balkans. In particular, I attended the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on 17–18 November 2003, at which security issues in the Balkans were discussed.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from the Government of Serbia-Montenegro regarding Prime Minister Kostunica's proposal for the deployment of Serbian forces to Kosovo. [163224]

Mr. Hoon: I discussed recent events in Kosovo with the Serbia and Montenegro Defence Minister, Boris Tadic. The issue of deploying Serbian troops to Kosovo was not raised.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the extent to which the borders between (a) Kosovo and Albania and (b) Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are adequately secured; and who controls them. [163225]

Mr. Hoon: Responsibility for border control points in Kosovo is held by the Kosovo Police Service under the authority of the UN Interim Administration Mission In Kosovo (UNMIK). Responsibility for the territorial integrity of Kosovo, including adjacent to the border with Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of

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Macedonia (FYROM), rests with KFOR. On the Macedonian side of the border, the responsibility for border crossing points rests with by the FYROM Border Police and for the rest of the border with the First Army Brigade. On the Albanian side of the Kosovo—Albanian border, the Albanian Police have responsibility for border control.

We assess that Kosovo's borders with both Albania and FYROM are adequately secured.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the security situation in the Kosovo towns of (a) Mitrovica, (b) Orahovac and (c) Pristina. [163226]

Mr. Hoon: The security situation in Kosovo, including the towns of Mitrovica, Orahovac and Pristina, is calm following the violent events of last week. NATO, including KFOR forces on the ground, continues to monitor the situation.

Leslie John Douglas

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the outcome was of the investigation into the death of Mr. Leslie John Douglas; when a Board of Inquiry was convened; what its recommendations were; and what further action has been taken. [162259]

Mr. Ingram: The Royal Military Police Special Investigation, despite extensive witness interviews and forensic examination, was inconclusive.

A Board of Inquiry (BOI) into Cpl Douglas's death was convened in November 2001. It made the following recommendations on range safety:

The following actions have been taken:

Medical Reservists

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many medical reservists there were in (a) 1997 and (b) 2003; and if he will make a statement. [158621]

Mr. Caplin: The following table provides information on the number of medical reservists as at 1 April 1997 and 1 April 2003. Figures for 1997 are not available for the Royal Navy Reserves.

Territorial Army4,4403,680
Royal Navy Reserves156

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Sean Benton

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recommendations were made by the Board of Inquiry into the death of Sean Benton concerning security instructions and orders governing armed guard duties at Deepcut barracks; and what action has subsequently been taken on the implementation of each of these recommendations. [162267]

Mr. Ingram: During its investigation the Board of Inquiry (BOI) highlighted a number of concerns, largely relating to security orders and procedures within the Guardroom. Direction was given for the following actions to be taken, and these were implemented by the end of August 1995:

In its concluding report, the BOI also made the following recommendations, all of which have been implemented:

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