22 Apr 2009

Inquest under way in Britain into death of a Fiji man killed in Afghanistan

10:35 am on 22 April 2009

An inquest is under way in Britain into the death of a Fiji man killed in Afghanistan whilst serving in the British Army.

Trooper Ratu Babakobau's widowed wife, Camari, his father, Casari, and his mother, Bulow Mere, attended the hearing.

The 29-year-old died in May last year on his first overseas deployment.

The inquest heard how Trooper Babakobau was killed by a blast underneath the armoured personnel carrier he had been travelling in.

Teams of soldiers had spent three hours checking for landmines along the vehicle's route.

The coroner heard how, in the heat, the Fiji trooper had taken off his helmet, and suffered head wounds in the blast.

A defence expert told the inquest that the trooper would still have died had he worn his helmet, because of the massive force of the blast.

The hearing continues.