Family of Briton shot dead by IDF demands soldier be put on trial
Cameraman James Miller, 34, was shot in the neck while filming a documentary in Rafah in May 2003.
LONDON - The family of a British cameraman shot dead by an Israel Defense Forces soldier in Gaza met with new Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett Thursday and urged her to press the Israelis to bring charges against those responsible, the family said.
A jury at a London coroner's court ruled in April that James Miller, 34, - who was shot in the neck in the town of Rafah in May 2003 while filming a documentary about the impact of violence on children in the region - was murdered.
After the meeting, which had been scheduled with Beckett's predecessor Jack Straw, Sophy Miller, the cameraman's widow, said the foreign secretary had given assurances that she would be putting renewed pressure on Israel to bring his killer to justice.
"She will be writing to the foreign secretary in Israel in order to put to her the requirement that Israel holds a commission of inquiry to look into the failures of the investigation of James's case as well as perverting the course of justice," she said.
The Foreign Office confirmed a meeting had taken place, but would not confirm if any assurances had been made by Beckett.
The 34-year-old moviemaker received the fatal wound when he was asking soldiers if it was safe to leave the area where he was filming.
The Israeli army officer who fired the deadly shot - a first lieutenant in the Bedouin Desert Reconnaissance Battalion who was commanding the unit at the time of the killing - was cleared by a court martial last year, despite a military court recommendation that harsh disciplinary action be taken against him.
"We now have a verdict in this country of murder, James was killed in cold blood by an Israeli soldier, and we hope that this will speed up the process," added Miller's widow.
The Miller family said they believe Beckett will take a far tougher line toward the Israelis over the death.
"She is prepared to ask them in stronger terms, not just quietly, than perhaps her predecessor and she has the strength of the inquest behind her," said the cameraman's mother, Eileen Miller.
"I think that gives them a greater lever with getting tough on the Israelis," she said.
The family will also to meet with Britain's attorney general on May 5 to discuss whether any legal action can be brought against the soldier in Britain.