A WEEK long inquest into the helicopter crash that killed two SAS soldiers came to a sudden halt on its intended final day when Herefordshire coroner David Halpern ruled that material redacted from a Ministry of Defence (MoD) report could be relevant evidence.

Mr Halpern agreed to adjourn the inquest so the MoD could decide whether or not it could release the redacted material from a report into helicopter operations.

No date was given as to when proceedings would continue.

Lawyers for the MoD said that the redacted material had not been put through the ministry’s public interest immunity procedures.

A redacted version of the report was released to the family of one of the soldiers under the Freedom of Information Act, the inquest heard.

Sgt John Battersby, aged 31, and Tpr Lee Fitzsimmons, 26, died when their Puma helicopter crashed and burned during a high-risk special forces mission to intercept an insurgent cell near Baghdad in November 2007.