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mercenaries accused of 1961 plane downing

New inquiry into death of Dag Hammarskjöld

Updated söndag 22 juli 2012 kl 13.57
Published söndag 22 juli 2012 kl 10.53
"They didn't say it was an accident, they didn't say it was pilot error..."
(0:22 min)
Dag Hammarskjöld became UN Secretary General in 1953. Photo: Scanpix

The British newspaper the Guardian reports that a new inquiry is to be opened into the mysterious 1961 plane crash that took the life of United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld.

Henning Melber is the Executive Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Uppsala. He is critical of the previous investigations into the Swedish diplomat's death:

The new commission will not have legal status, but its findings will be presented to the UN:

The commission of inquiry will include veteran Swedish diplomat Hans Corell, formerly United Nations Deputy Secretary General for Legal Affairs, South African judge Richard Goldstone, who was chief prosecutor at The Hague war crimes tribunal, and retired British appeals court judge Sir Stephen Sedley.

Its creation follows new evidence on the crash published in the Guardian last year, based on testimony that Hammarskjöld’s plane was shot down over what was then Northern Rhodesia by Western mercenaries, which was then covered up by the British colonial authorities.

The Swede was trying to mediate in the crisis in the Congo and its separatist Katanga province when his plane went down.

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