We at IC911 are profoundly disappointed to report that the UK Attorney General has once again unlawfully denied the Campbell family’s application for a new inquest into the death of Geoff Campbell on 9/11.
The following is a statement released today by the family. A PDF is available here.
Please donate generously to their campaign on Crowdfunder so they can appeal the Attorney General’s decision. Your donation will be returned if not enough funds are raised for them to go forward.
From the family of Geoff Campbell:
We are saddened to announce that for the second time the Solicitor General for England and Wales, acting on behalf of the Attorney General for England and Wales, has refused our application for a fresh inquest into the death of our beloved son and brother, Geoff Thomas Campbell, on September 11th 2001. (Read the new decision.)
The Attorney General’s first decision, issued in June of last year, was so legally indefensible that our letter notifying her of our intention to seek judicial review and our statement of facts and grounds compelled the Solicitor General to withdraw that decision last September.
It turns out the Solicitor General withdrew the decision not for the purpose of conducting a more thorough, objective, and legally sound review of our application but rather for the purpose of concocting a new set of rationales for denying the application.
Our case for a fresh inquest is made on two separate grounds. The first is insufficiency of inquiry at the first inquest. The second is the existence of new evidence not heard at the first inquest. Under the law, a fresh inquest must be ordered if either ground is satisfied.
In response to our claim that there was an insufficiency of inquiry, the Attorney General’s new decision asserts that it was reasonable for the Coroner to rely on the evidence presented by the Metropolitan Police. This evidence included just two pages of narrative summary of the events of that day, one page of information about Geoff, and brief testimony at the perfunctory 99-minute inquest held for ten British 9/11 victims on January 29th 2013, where only three minutes were dedicated to Geoff.
The new decision fails, as did the previous one, to get around the fact that the Metropolitan Police presented no evidence or even assertion as to the cause of the North Tower’s collapse and thus the cause of Geoff’s death — and yet the Coroner’s conclusion states that American Airlines Flight 11 caused the North Tower’s collapse. It is difficult to imagine a more clear-cut case of insufficiency of inquiry.
As for the response to our claim that there is new evidence not heard at the first inquest, the Attorney General’s new decision abandons the demonstrably irrational reasoning set forth in the first decision and now relies on the sweeping, unsubstantiated assertion that the evidence we presented in our 2,500-page application is “not credible.”
The Solicitor General’s only basis for this assertion is to cite the reports issued by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology and to claim falsely that they represent “the clear consensus view” on the cause of the Twin Towers’ collapse. First, whether the NIST reports represent a consensus view is irrelevant to a correct application of the law. Second, new evidence that contradicts the conclusions of a government report cannot be rendered “not credible” merely by the existence of that report. History is rife with examples of government reports later being proven wrong.
Furthermore, the Solicitor General admits he did not conduct a substantive review of the new evidence. The decision states: “The Solicitor does not consider this case justifies the instruction of his own experts to address the expert evidence.”
In an attempt to justify summarily dismissing the new evidence, the decision states that the Solicitor General “was unable to conceive what additional benefit Al-Qaeda, or indeed any other malignant actor, would gain by planting explosives” and he therefore considers the hypothesis we advance to be “fanciful.” The Solicitor General is apparently oblivious to the known use of secondary explosive devices in terrorist attacks and to the documented intent of Al-Qaeda operatives to destroy the Twin Towers. He also illogically fails to consider the reasonable premise that terrorists would seek to inflict maximum death, damage, and terror.
Ultimately, the Solicitor General’s cursory dismissal of the new evidence is a gross misapplication of the law. For a fresh inquest to be ordered on the ground of new evidence, the law requires merely that we want the fresh inquest and that new evidence exists. The perceived ability of that evidence to alter the conclusion of the first inquest is irrelevant.
After seeing the first decision withdrawn, we expected the Attorney General to correctly apply the law this time around. Her failure to do so a second time is beyond negligent: It is a cruel obstruction of our rightful pursuit of the truth about Geoff’s murder.
We will continue to do everything in our power to reopen Geoff’s inquest. We thus intend to seek judicial review of the Attorney General’s new decision, and we are confident it will be quashed in the High Court.
Unfortunately, having to respond to yet another denial of our application is depleting our resources. To keep going, we must raise £60,000 ($76,000) for barrister’s fees and court fees by March 1st. Our application for judicial review must be filed no later than April 3rd.
We have set up a fundraising campaign on Crowdfunder, where we invite supporters to pledge what they can. If we raise enough funds by the deadline, we will go forward; if we are unable to raise enough funds, we will return all pledges. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has donated to our effort thus far.
Geoff was murdered 22 years ago, and his inquest was held 11 years ago this week. We have been fighting to reopen his inquest ever since and we will keep fighting until the end.
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