A former British Army officer who falsely suggested that murdered Belfast teenager Peter McBride may have been carrying a bomb when he was murdered by two soldiers under his command has been awarded a major private security contract in Iraq by the US Department of Defence, according to the Pat Finucne centre, a Derry-based human rights group.
Jean McBride has appealed to supporters of the family to raise the issue in the US Congress and Senate. “We are asking our supporters in the US to raise this directly with John Kerry and call for a congressional hearing into Tim Spicer’s track record.
Lt Col Tim Spicer of Aegis Defence Services has attempted to justify the McBride murder on a number of occasions and in doing so has made inaccurate and offensive claims about the circumstances that have been proven totally wrong by various courts.
A spokesperson for the Pat Finucane Centre has urged all those concerned at the role of private security firms in human rights abuses in Iraq to raise concerns at this contract.
“Spicer is a highly controversial figure. Despite numerous court rulings that held that the soldiers under his command murdered an unarmed 18 year old boy and concocted lies to cover up their actions Spicer has continued to claim that his soldiers should not have been prosecuted.
By his own admission, Spicer, an officer in the Scots Guards regiment, wanted to send convicted killers Wright and Fisher back on patrol immediately after the murder. “It’s the same principle as getting straight back on a horse when you have been thrown off” he wrote in his autobiography.
His deeply offensive claims about the murder were repeated in the right-wing British Daily Mail leading to calls for a boycott of the paper by Jean McBride and a complaint to the Press Complaints Council.
Despite their convictions, both Wright and Fisher remained in the British Army after serving unusually short sentences for the killing.
Reacting to the news today Jean McBride appealed to supporters of the family to raise the issue in the US Congress and Senate. “We are asking our supporters in the US to raise this directly with John Kerry and call for a congressional hearing into Tim Spicer’s track record.
“Given the involvement of private security firms in torture and murder in Iraq I shudder to think that Spicer has been awarded a contract to create the world’s largest private army. As Commanding Officer of the Scots Guards he told a pack of lies about Peter’s murder and dragged his name through the dirt. God knows what his own private army will do in Iraq.”