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British Filmmaker 'Murdered' by Soldier

James Miller - shot dead in GazaA British court inquest has ruled that Devonshire cameraman, James Miller, was unlawfully shot by an Israeli soldier while making a documentary on Palestinian children in 2003. 

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A British cameraman shot dead in the Gaza Strip by an Israeli soldier was murdered, an inquest jury has decided. James Miller, 34, from Devon, was shot by a soldier from the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) while making a film in a Palestinian refugee camp in 2003.

An Israeli investigation in April 2005 cleared a soldier of misusing firearms.

Coroner Andrew Reid had told the jury at St Pancras Coroner's Court, London, on Thursday to return a verdict of unlawful killing.

He said they had to decide in the context of the case whether he had been murdered or was a victim of manslaughter.

After around an hour of deliberation, the jury decided that Mr Miller had been deliberately shot on the night of 2 May 2003.A jury spokeswoman said: "We, the jury, unanimously agree this was an unlawful shooting with the intention of killing Mr James Miller.

Palestinian children

The spokeswoman added: "It is a fact that from day one of this inquest the Israeli authorities have not been forthcoming in the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr Miller's death."

Mr Miller, originally from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, was making a film about Palestinian children in the Rafah refugee camp at the time.
He was trying to ask the soldiers if it was safe to leave the area when he was fatally wounded in the neck.

Metropolitan Police Det Insp Robert Anderson told the inquest on Thursday that Israel had been "uncooperative" during their own investigations into the shooting.

Access denied

Mr Anderson said he had asked to visit Israel to interview soldiers concerned and other witnesses.
But, he said: "Israel has been uncooperative with the Metropolitan Police in that they haven't allowed us access to interview soldiers and witnesses."

He said the Metropolitan Police investigation had to see witnesses who had already been interviewed by the IDF, such as reporter Saira Shah, and rely on reports from the pathologist and ballistic experts.

Mr Anderson said his investigation, based on the available evidence, had found there was no evidence either that the dead man had posed a threat to the IDF at the time of the shooting, or that there had been any Palestinian fire directed at the soldiers' position.

Dr Reid concluded the hearing saying he intended to write to the Attorney General to seek to prevent similar deaths occurring.