Monday, June 19, 2006

Government shoots self in foot, soldier didn't shoot himself anywhere.

Well they're still trying to figure out how poor private Kovco got a bullet in his head. The official story version 4 is "we don't know". That would be fine if it had been official story version 1, nobody expects instant omniscence from our fearless leaders. Instead we got "it went off while he was cleaning it", an unlikely story given Kovco was a qualified sniper, which indicates both high intelligence and respect for weapons. I initially suspected suicide for that very reason, but it turns out there were no powder burns on the body,<1> meaning it was fired from at least 4 foot away. So story number one was rubbish, and anyone who had any information about the events should have known it, particularly highly qualified officers.

Then there was official story number 2 that he had moved the gun and somehow it went off. Again this is contradicted by the powder residue evidence.

Then there was official statement number 3 that he had somehow dropped his laptop computer on to it and it had discharged. This was perhaps the weakest explanation. For a start how does a laptop falling onto a properly designed and maintained pistol, in it's holster cause it to go off? Simply having the corner of it wedge between the trigger and trigger guard won't do, there has to be pressure on the back of the butt. This safety feature prevents discharge if nobody is actually holding the pistol to shoot. Then there's the question of how the bullet ends up in his temple if it came from underneath. Finally this version as all the other versions before it did, contradicts the powder burn evidence or rather lack thereof.

Now this is more than just guessing 3 times and getting it wrong, as callous as that is to Shelly, Tyrie and Alana Kovco. The government knew all along that there were two people in the room when it happened and either of them could have told them none of these versions were true. So what's going on? Guns just don't go off. Particularly not guns bought by one of the most professional militaries in the world and maintained by a qualified sniper. The government gave information that it ought to have known was bad at least 3 times. Either the military is consistently handing them rumours instead of confirmed fact or the government is trying to spin something. But what? Were the other two soldiers in the room "skylarking" with Kovco's gun? If so what efforts were made to investigate what they were doing? A simple GunShot Residue should confirm or disprove their firing the gun. If this test was done what are the results? If not why was this simple investigative step not taken. I can think of no reason why you would not test someone in the room of a suspicious gunshot death for GSR. Not doing so is arguably deriliction of duty. Perhaps that's the extent of the spin, simply covering up for shoddy investigation. I hope so, but knowning the Howard government we won't get the truth until we drag it kicking and screaming into the light, presumerably after next election.

Oh yeah and they've lost the bullet. That should be a firing offense all by itself but don't hold your breathe.

<1> In fact this was an error, apparently there were such burns when the coroner examined the body, or at least burns "consistent" with powder burns. There just wasn't any powder. So either the powder was washed off, as apparently happened or something weird is going on. Of course this means even more evidence was compromised than previously suspected.

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