Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

No second inquiry for soldier's death

Corporal Douglas Hughes.
Corporal Douglas Hughes.

There will not be a second coronial inquiry into the death of Corporal Douglas Hughes, the Deputy Solicitor-General has decided.

Corporal Hughes, 26, committed suicide while in Afghanistan on April 3 last year.

A military court of inquiry was held into his death but a coronial inquiry did not conclude because the coroner, Gordon Matenga, was satisfied the process and outcomes of the military inquiry had fulfilled the purpose of a coronial inquiry.

However, Corporal Hughes' mother, as well as Labour Party MPs Phil Goff and Andrew Little, made a request to the Solicitor-General for a coronial inquiry to be held.

In a statement, Deputy Solicitor-General Cheryl Gwyn said Coroner Matenga had not been wrong to rely on the findings of the military court of inquiry.

"I have concluded that the information I received from Corporal Hughes' family does not constitute new evidence ... and would not have materially altered the court of inquiries outcomes.

"Nor have I found an example of irregularity or insufficient independence in the original proceedings that would justify a further inquiry."

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