14:25 09 August 2012
The Ministry of Defence has admitted that they've kept the remains of some soldiers without permission from their families.
More than 50 tissue samples and a number of body parts have been retained by the Royal Military police after soldiers serving in Afghanistan have fallen in the line of duty.
The Royal British Legion have expressed their concern that "the wishes of bereaved families were ignored" and made a point - as quoted by the BBC - that "human remains must be treated with utmost respect and accountability, not only to protect the dignity and feelings of service families, but also to preserve the integrity of the inquest process."
It is believed that the blunder was uncovered when a new manager was drafted in at the military police's SIB (special investigations branch). The body parts were being held at John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford while the tissue samples on laboratory slides were discovered at the SIB HQ in Wiltshire.
Since then, an army spokesman has confirmed that an investigation has been launched and - where possible - families have been notified.
The spokesman for the MoD released a general statement to the press: "There are occasions when it is necessary for the RMP special investigations branch to retain slides of forensic material from individuals killed on operations as part of their investigation – this is standard practice.
"However, the RMP identified there were a small number of cases where this had been done without the correct processes being followed to inform families.
"It is thought there could be 60 forensic items, such as microscope slides, containing material from some individuals."
The spokesman continued to stress that this will be not be tolerated in the future: "The RMP special investigations branch has also taken swift action to ensure this cannot happen again and are identifying the families affected as quickly as possible."
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