Bloody Sunday: 17 former British soldiers to find out whether they face charges | UK News
Seventeen former British soldiers will find out on Thursday whether they are to be charged in relation to the Bloody Sunday shootings in Londonderry.
The Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland is also considering files on two former members of the old “Official IRA”.
The charges under consideration include murder, attempted murder and causing grievous bodily injury with intent to endanger life.
It is 47 years since members of the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment opened fire during a civil rights march in Derry, shooting 13 innocent people dead and wounding 15 others.
Police, who launched a murder investigation following the public inquiry into Bloody Sunday, have passed two files to public prosecutors.
Twenty suspects – 18 former soldiers and two former “Official IRA” members – were interviewed, but one of the soldiers has since died.
The complex investigation file included 668 witness statements, numerous physical exhibits such as photographs, video and audio recordings, and a total of 125,000 pages of material.
The events of 30 January 1972 resulted in the longest-running and most expensive public inquiry in the UK, at an estimated £195m.
Victims were finally exonerated in 2010, when Lord Saville found the killings to have been “unjustified and unjustifiable”.
In a statement to the Commons, David Cameron, then prime minister, unreservedly apologised to their families.
Kate Nash’s brother William was shot dead and her father wounded on Bloody Sunday. Her brother was just 19 years old.
She said: “I think of my brother every single day. I can still see his smiling face that day when he left home.
“Justice matters to anybody. If you have a family member and something like that happens to them… your brother, your poor dead brother is treated like he never existed, that he wasn’t worth justice, what every one of us are entitled to.”
Ulster Unionist Doug Beattie MLA, a former British army captain, has long claimed that proposals for investigating 1,700 historical cases in Northern Ireland are “imbalanced”.
He said: “They will reinvestigate every single killing by the military, every single one, but they will not reinvestigate every killing of the military.
“If you bear in mind, there’s 185 soldiers, who were murdered during our Troubles, who have had no investigation whatsoever, you can see why people think there is an imbalance.”