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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions in the last three years consular staff in (a) London and (b) Zagreb have offered help to the family of Private Simon Jeans.
Since the tragic death of Private Simon Jeans, our consular staff in London and Zagreb have offered full consular assistance to his family. It is difficult to be precise on the exact numbers of contacts and representations made with them, but there have been many. We approached the Croatian courts on numerous occasions for information about the case, and attended all court hearings with Private Jeans' family. Our consular division in London last spoke with Simon Jeans' father, Terry, in May 2001, and our pro-consul in Split last met with Mr. Jeans in August 2001, when he visited Croatia.
The hon. Member will be aware that Private Jeans was a serving member of the British Army at the time of his death. As such, the Ministry of Defence was and continue to be the lead Department in this case. Private Jeans' family are aware there is very little our consular staff can do with regards to the case in Croatia, as it is now a legal matter. Under international law we are unable to get involved in the judicial process of other countries. Nevertheless, Mr. Jeans and the MOD have been in regular touch.