Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Soldiers to learn whether they face Bloody Sunday prosecutions

Soldiers to learn whether they face Bloody Sunday prosecutions

On Jan. 30, 1972, British troops opened fire during an unauthorized march in the Bogside, a nationalist area of Londonderry.

One former soldier is to face prosecution for murder and attempted murder on Bloody Sunday, the Public Prosecution Service has said.

But in 2017, it emerged that the PPS was considering prosecuting up to 18 paratroopers who were involved in the massacre as well as two former Official IRA men.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed the Ministry of Defence would support soldier F and pay the legal costs.

Over time, though, the victims' families got organized, campaigned for justice and eventually, more than 25 years after the killings, when a peace deal was signed in Northern Ireland, the British government committed to a full-scale inquiry. "Our serving and former personnel can not live in constant fear of prosecution".

Stephen Herron, the director of public prosecutions said in a statement: "In these circumstances, the evidential test for prosecution is..."

Today it said one former British soldier, referred to as Soldier F, will be charged with the murders of James Wray and William McKinney.

Members of the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment opened fire at a civil rights march in the city in 1972 killing 13 people.

Although rioting had become routine for Derry's youth, McCann describes the impact of Bloody Sunday as a game-changer in Northern Ireland.

New Zealand vs Bangladesh: Kane Williamson taken to hospital during second Test
New Zealand scored at over five runs per over during their innings, which was declared in the 85th over. By virtue of winning the match, the hosts took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match series.

Popular Dublin pizza place offer ANY PIZZA for €3.14 this week
March 14 is Pi Day , which means pizza spots across the city are offering deals that celebrate the beloved mathematical constant. Marie Callender's : At participating locations (7 10 p.m.) get a free slice of pie with the purchase of an adult entree.

Brexit backstop legal risk 'unchanged': UK's Cox
But the changes appear to fall well short of Brexiteers' demands for a unilateral British exit mechanism from the backstop. However, she sounded a note of caution, noting that the pound remains the best performing G10 currency so far this year.

The victims' families were stunned by the events of the day, not just at the loss of their loved ones but by the army's claims that the people in the crowds fired the first shot.

The PPS pored over more than 125,000 pages of evidence from Bloody Sunday in coming to their decision.

It cost a quarter of a billion dollars and its conclusions, announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010, brought cheers from the people of Derry, in particular the victims' families.

Alan Barry, from the Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans campaign group, said he feared the paratroopers would face charges, accusing the justice system in Northern Ireland of being one-sided.

"I wish to clearly state that where a decision has been reached not to prosecute, that this is in no way diminishes any finding by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that those killed or injured were not posing a threat to any of the soldiers".

He noted that today "will be another extremely hard day" for family members of the victims of the massacre and noted that he met with them personally "to explain the prosecution decisions taken and to help them understand the reasons".

"However, much of the material which was available for consideration by the Inquiry is not admissible in criminal proceedings, due to strict rules of evidence that apply", he said.

"As prosecutors we are required to be wholly objective in our approach".

The letter went on: "The Ministry of Defence has ensured that all veterans under investigation in Bloody Sunday are aware of the support available, either via their legal representatives or directly". Six of them were 17 years old.

Like this: