I would like to update the House on the case of the five British hostages who were kidnapped from the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad in May 2007.
The House will recall that one of the hostages, Peter Moore, was released alive in December 2009. The bodies of Jason Creswell, Jason Swindlehurst and Alec Maclachlan were returned to the UK in 2009. In my Statement of 22 June 2011 I informed the House that HM Coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, who is responsible for determining the cause of death, had completed his inquest into the deaths of Mr Creswell, Mr Swindlehurst and Mr Maclachlan and recorded a verdict of unlawful killing. I called on those holding the last hostage, Alan McMenemy, to return Alan.
The House will be aware that the body of Alan McMenemy was returned to the UK in January this year. I can report to the House that HM Coroner completed his inquest into the death of Mr McMenemy on 26 November and he has recorded a verdict of unlawful killing. The Coroner concluded that Mr McMenemy had been brutally murdered by his captors.
I am sure that the House joins me in extending our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Alan McMenemy. They had to suffer uncertainty and pain after Alan was taken hostage and grief on news of his death. I am sure the House would also wish to join me in reiterating our sympathy to the family and friends of his three colleagues as well.
We call on the Iraqi Government to continue its investigations into these horrific crimes and to bring those responsible to justice.