THE family of missing Katrice Lee are frustrated that they will not be allowed see the investigation files.
Katrice was aged two when she went missing from a NAAFI supermarket in Germany, where her father was stationed, on November 28, 1981.
Katrice’s mother Sharon and father Richard, along with sister Natasha Lee, 38, of Gosport, believe that mistakes were made in the original investigation by the Royal Military Police.
But a debate in the House of Commons, held yesterday and called by Katrice’s father’s constituency MP, Iain Wright, the member for Hartlepool, heard that the family will not be allowed to see the files.
The minister for defence personnel, welfare and veterans, Mark Francois MP, said that they would not be released as the case is a live police investigation.
Instead he invited the family, along with Mr Wright and Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, to a meeting with the Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch.
He also said that the head of Royal Military Police, Brigadier Bill Warren, will eventually ask a civilian police force to review the entire investigation, and where possible, the outcome will be shared with Katrice’s parents.
Miss Lee said she was disappointed the files will not be opened.
She said: ‘They are keeping us up to date on this investigation, so we have that anyway.
‘We want the case files released to an independent body to view, end of story.
‘We have regular updates with the military police, we’re in contact, we have two dedicated liaison officers.’
‘The issue isn’t the current investigation, the issue is the investigation in 1981, which they don’t get.’
Ms Dinenage spoke at the debate. She said: ‘The tragedy of this case was cruelly compounded by the incompetence and the insensitivity of the Royal Military Police.’
She added: ‘Despite the heartbreak that Sharon and Natasha have endured, I was struck by their quiet determination to carry on fighting to discover what happened to Katrice.’
She also said she wanted to see the files released.
‘When the current investigation is complete, I urge the MoD to release the initial case files to the family,’ she said.
‘We are at a time when we are thankfully starting to accept that past mistakes cannot be just brushed under the carpet.’