Derry awaits decision on 1972 killings — Bloody Sunday

Derry awaits decision on 1972 killings — Bloody Sunday

Derry awaits decision on 1972 killings — Bloody Sunday

A statement from the PPS said: "It has been concluded that there is sufficient evidence available to prosecute one former soldier, Soldier F for the murder of Jim Wray and William McKinney and for the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell".

The UK Secretary for Defence has said Britain is "indebted to those soldiers who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland" after it was announced that one soldier would be prosecuted over the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre.

Fourteen people were killed when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a civil rights march in January 1972.

As well as the 13 who died, 15 others were shot and injured.

Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service declined to charge another 16 former soldiers from the same battalion, citing insufficient evidence.

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.

"And all the families probably feel the same way, that what we're trying to achieve is for them (the victims)". Their lawyers said they would challenge in the High Court any prosecutorial decision that did not withstand scrutiny.

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

On Jan. 30, 1972, British troops opened fire during an unauthorized march in the Bogside, a nationalist area of Londonderry. Six of them were 17 years old. Veteran civil rights campaigner Eamonn McCann's hands shook as he comforted her.

The Northern Ireland Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Michael Agnew, informed victim's families of the decision at a private meeting this morning.

"The welfare of our former service personnel is of the utmost importance and we will offer full legal and pastoral support to the individual affected by today's decision".

The UK Ministry of Defence has said its serving and former personnel can not live in constant fear of prosecution.

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".

The Bloody Sunday killings caused widespread anger at the time - not least in the United States, where support for the Irish Republican cause runs high - and almost 50 years later the incident remains highly emotive.

Families of the victims said they were "disappointed" by the decision to press charges against just one ex-soldier, and revealed they may ultimately bring a challenge to the High Court after giving a "detailed consideration" to the reasons provided by the PPS.

Victims' families and other voices say they must nonetheless be held to account for their actions.

The 2010 Saville inquiry ruled the shootings were unjustified, with his 5,000-page report finding none of the casualties had been posing a threat of causing death or serious injury.

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