A DAD has spoken of his despair after hearing the Government will not
release case files on the 30-year-old disappearance of his daughter.
Hartlepool man Richie Lee spoke out after a Government minister
revealed Richie would not be allowed access to documents on the
investigation of the disappearance of his daughter Katrice.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright asked a Parliamentary question as to whether
the Lee family would be entitled to access the files.
Mr Wright received a response from Peter Luff, Parliamentary Under
Secretary for Defence, Support and Technology, saying releasing the
files could prejudice the investigation and any subsequent trial.
Richie, 62, said: “Realistically it’s an answer I expected.
“I’m really saddened, but it was no surprise.”
Richie said he will meet with Mr Wright today to discuss the next step
in the battle to get answers.
“I’m not prepared to let this go now,” added the retired postman, who
was a Sergeant Major when Katrice went missing from a NAAFI supermarket
in Paderborn in Germany on November 28, 1981, on her second birthday.
Richie, who previously said he could not see why the family of missing
girl Madeleine McCann had accessed their files but he could not, added:
“If I’ve got to, I will take this as high as I can.”
Mr Wright said: “Mr Lee is naturally disappointed with the response.
“It’s a question now of sitting down and finding out what could be the
next step to help Mr Lee as much as possible.”
Mr Luff said: “The investigation into Katrice Lee’s disappearance
remains open and disclosure of the case files, even to a family member,
could have a prejudicial effect on the investigation or any subsequent
“The Ministry of Defence also has a duty to protect an individual’s
personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 and disclosure of case
documents could represent a breach of confidence where the information
was provided for the purpose of a police investigation.”
More than 900 people have signed a petition to release the case files.
It can be found at www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and select the link at the
bottom of this story.
l Meanwhile, Mr Wright has described his frustration that Sir George
Young, Leader of the House of Commons, refused his request for a debate
on unemployment in the North-East yesterday.
He said Government policies were making unemployment matters worse,
which was disputed by Sir George.