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profishingrods.com March 19, 2019


Bloody Sunday: decision to prosecute soldier reopens old wounds

14 March 2019, 06:41 | Devin Moran

James Wray and William McKinney who died on Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday prosecutions

Families of those who were killed hold a press conference inside the Guildhall in Londonderry after the Public Prosecution Service announced that one solider will face prosecution for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell on Bloody Sunday in the city in January 1972.

And speaking to the BBC this week, Derek Wilford, the Parachute Regiment's commander on Bloody Sunday, claimed prosecuting the soldiers would be a "betrayal".

Bloody Sunday refers to January 30, 1972, when British troops fired on unarmed civil rights protesters in Derry, or Londonderry, in Northern Ireland.

The UK's Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the Ministry of Defence will pay Soldier F's legal costs.

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.

The letter said a dedicated team has been set up looking at ways to provide appropriate legal protection to serving and former members of the armed forces "where they now face repeated investigations and potential prosecution following events that happened many years ago".

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

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

ULSTER Sunday Timeline
Bloody Sunday British paratrooper charged with two murders over massacre | Daily Star

Reflecting on his meeting with the families, the director added: "I am mindful that it has been a long road for the families to reach this point and today will be another extremely hard day for many of them".

"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".

"There has been a level of expectation around the prosecution decisions in light of the findings of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry". "We recognize the deep disappointment felt by many of those we met with today".

"We would like to remind everyone that no prosecution or if it comes to it no conviction does not mean not guilty, it does not mean that no crime was committed, it does not mean that those soldiers acted in a dignified and appropriate way", Mickey McKinney, brother to one of the victims, told a news conference.

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".

Papers before prosecutors included 668 witness statements and numerous photos, video and audio evidence. Six of them were 17 years old.

"Justice matters to anybody", she said.

A silent crowd lines both sides of the road as the funeral procession of those who died Bloody Sunday passes, 02-02-1972.






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