Autopsy to begin on UK cameraman

Miller was shot in 2003 by IDF troops during clash with Palestinian gunmen.

April 3, 2006 11:03
2 minute read.
Autopsy to begin on UK cameraman

James Miller 298 88 AP. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The family of James Miller, a British documentary filmmaker killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003, told a court here the Israeli investigation of his death had been frustrated through false statements, cover-up and delay. On the opening day of an inquest held to investigate the killing, Sophy Miller told the St. Pancras Coroners Court in North London the assurances given by the Israeli government that the death of her husband "was being fully and thoroughly investigated" were not true. "It has been the family that has had to produce, investigate and provide the evidence in order to bring any form of justice and to date he hasn't received any," Miller stated on April 3. James Miller was shot in the neck and killed in Rafah while filming a documentary on Palestinian children. An autopsy performed in Tel Aviv and a subsequent investigation by the Military Police found that he had been killed by IDF gunfire. Louise Christian, the solicitor for the Miller family, told The Jerusalem Post the London coroner's inquest "was the first independent investigation that there has been into the cause of James' death." The IDF inquiry had been "a sealed investigation," Christian said. "It did not consider eyewitness evidence, but only evidence from the soldiers" and the results "were never shared with the family." Miller told the 10-member jury that her husband had been holding a white flag illuminated by a flashlight and was walking toward an IDF patrol when he was shot. She testified the IDF "put out statements almost immediately saying that there had been a gun battle and that James had walked into a gun battle" and was "shot from behind" by a gunman. However, "we know from military reports that there had been no gun battle," she said. A film Death in Gaza was screened for the jury detailing the events surrounding the shooting. Miller testified that it was her belief that "First-Lt. Haib" of the Beduin Desert Reconnaissance Battalion shot her husband. During the afternoon session, Miller's sister, Anne Waddington, told the court that "Lt. Haib was the commissioner of the unit and the only person shooting that night." His conduct after the shooting was also questionable, Christian told the Post, claiming Haib "misled the [Israeli] inquiry" and "gave different accounts [of the events of that night] in six different interviews". Waddington also accused Haib of destroying evidence, saying, "He went back the next day to bulldoze the area to eradicate the evidence at the scene of crime." She also testified the British defense attach in Tel Aviv told the family not to expect justice from an Israeli investigation. Col. Tom Fitzallen-Howard told the Miller family it could not "expect to find any truth. It would be a sham enquiry" as the IDF "only spoke to their own soldiers," she said. Miller's other sister, Katie Barter, told the court the family had been "hampered at every turn" by the Israeli government. An investigation by the IDF found that Haib violated the rules of military engagement when he fired warning shots after coming under fire from gunmen. Judge Advocate-General Brig.-Gen. Avihai Mandelblit recommended Haib be court-martialed, but an April 14, 2005 disciplinary hearing, led by Brig.-Gen. Guy Tsur of Southern Command, ruled the shooting justified. The court verdict will not "express a view on criminal or civil liability" Christian said, but will "give a verdict on how the death was caused" and state whether it was an "accidental death, open verdict or unlawful killing." The Israeli government is not participating in the proceedings. The London inquest continues through Friday.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A Sri Lankan navy soldier searches a truck at a check point in Colombo
April 26, 2019
Sri Lankans urged to avoid mosques, churches amid fears of more attacks