HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright says he thinks 2013 will be a “big year” in making headway in getting answers in the Katrice Lee case and he wants the case to be “an international matter”.
Mr Wright, who earlier this week met with Richard Lee, the father of Katrice, who went missing from a NAAFI store in Germany 31 years ago, says he feels getting Prime Minister David Cameron on-side could be the key to the bottom of the case, especially now military police chiefs have admitted failings in the original investigation.
He said: “I think a public inquiry is still very important, I want to make sure another force looks at the case notes from the 1981 investigation and I want the family to have access to the case files and I want the family to have a meeting with the Prime Minister.
“That’s the bit I really want to push this year.”
Mr Cameron previously said he would not be meeting with the Lee family.
But Mr Wright said now that the Royal Military Police (RMP) have admitted failings in the original investigation and apologised to the family, he feels the Prime Minister may have been “briefed incorrectly” and he hopes he changes tack.
“I want to make this an international matter,” said Mr Wright.
“The chances are Katrice is now a young woman in her 30s and probably somewhere in Germany.
“We need to get the German Chancellor Angela Merkel behind us and the best way to do that is through the Prime Minister. “We need to make sure the officials from Number 10 speak to officials from Angela Merkel’s office.
“I’m also delving deeply into making sure we can have a public inquiry, shedding more light onto what the military police actually mean as to the ‘failings’.
“We need to know the specific weaknesses and what they plan to do to remedy that, what advice was given to the Prime Minister when he was briefed and will the Prime Minister change his tack and meet with the Lee family and in doing so give his full weight and administration to ensure we find out what happened to Katrice.”
He added that it had been a “busy year” in terms of progress, with momentum building in the latter half of 2012, including the case being taken to Parliament, and the admission and apology from the RMP.
Mr Wright will now write to Mr Cameron asking for a meeting with the family.
Defence Minister Mark Francois promised that the case will be reviewed by civilian police.
But Mr Wright wants clarity that the original 1981 case will be reviewed, and not just the more recent probe.
“The wording does suggest that the original 1981 investigation will not be handed over,” said Mr Wright.
“That’s where the real botching started.
“I don’t care if we embarrass people in regard to this, I don’t care if careers and reputations are undermined as a result of this - I want to get the truth on behalf of Mr Lee.
“It’s going to be quite a big year.”