MOD Pressed on Soldier Who Absconded

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

The Celtic League has posed a series of questions to the UK Ministry of Defence about a soldier released into British military custody by the Manx courts who subsequently absconded (text below).

“Secretary of State for Defence
Phillip Hammond MP
Ministry of Defence
Main Building
Whitehall
London SW1A 2HB

08/07/13

Dear Minister,

I write with reference to the case of Mr Che Awembeng Collins.

Mr Collins was a serving British Soldier who took part in a military parade on the Isle of Man on Saturday 28th August 2010, with his Regiment. Later that day he went out socialising in Douglas and it was alleged he committed a serious sexual offence. Mr Collins was bailed by the Manx Court into the care of the Military but subsequently absconded from his barracks and failed to answer bail.

I understand from recent correspondence with the Isle of Man Constabulary that Mr Collins has now left the United Kingdom and that he resides in a jurisdiction which is not subject to a formal extradition agreement with the United Kingdom.

Can I ask:

a) When Mr Collins was released to the custody of the UK military what sureties were asked for or given?
b) Was an enquiry undertaken by the British Army or MOD into the circumstances surrounding Mr Collins absconding the United Kingdom?
c) Given that Mr Collins was not a UK national was no assessment made by the British Army that he might pose a greater flight risk?
d) Is a report of any enquiry undertaken by the MOD/British Army available and have the Manx authorities sought a copy of same?
e) How many instances have there been over the last decade of soldiers released by courts to military custody absconding?

In relation to the current situation:

1) Is the MOD aware of Mr Collins current country of residence and have any efforts been made by either the MOD or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to secure his return?
2) Is his country of residence a recipient of UK aid monies?
3) Has Mr Collins been placed on any Interpol wanted persons or watch list in case he moves to a country with which the UK has formal recognition agreements? (note: no reference appears on their web site at present).

Thanking you in anticipation of an early reply

Yours sincerely,”

Related links on Celtic News:

https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3951
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3948

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information

08/07/13

For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

General Secretary, Celtic League:

gensec@celticleague.net

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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