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Bloody Sunday murder inquiry could be halted as former soldiers 'launch legal action against PSNI'

Published 12/11/2015

Hugh Gilmore (third left) seen clutching his stomach as he is shot during Bloody Sunday.
Hugh Gilmore (third left) seen clutching his stomach as he is shot during Bloody Sunday.
A young Fr Edward Daly (now Bishop Daly) carries a blood-soaked hankie as he leads a group of men trying desperately to carry John 'Jackie' Duddy to safety. Duddy (17) was the first fatality of Bloody Sunday after being shot from behind by paratroopers
Paddy Doherty, who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
A scene showing a British paratrooper near Glenfada Park in Derry where Bloody Sunday took place.
30th January 1972: An armed soldier and a protestor on Bloody Sunday when British Paratroopers shot dead 13 civilians on a civil rights march.
William McKinney, killed on Bloody Sunday.
Lt Col Derek Wilford, the former commander of the members of the Parachute Regiment involved in the Bloody Sunday shootings
A protest parade in was staged in Londonderry in January to mark the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday
Hugh Gilmore who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
St Mary's Church, on the Creggan Estate, during the Requiem Mass for the 13 who died on 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry.
Michael McDaid who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
:Bloody Sunday.
Soldiers taking cover behind their sandbagged armoured cars during Bloody Sunday
Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery in his room at the Old Bailey as he looks through his report on the "Bloody Sunday" shootings
Jim Wray who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
John Young who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
William McKinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Kevin McElhinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Gerard McKinney who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Gerald Donaghey who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Alana Burke who was eighteen when she was run over by an armoured personnel carrier on Bloody Sunday.
Bloody Sunday. January 1972
Patrick Doherty who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Bloody Sunday. Funeral. Mrs Ita McKinney, 9 months pregnant cries behind the hearse carrying her husband James from St Mary's, Creggan. 2/2/1972.
Michael Kelly who was killed on Bloody Sunday.
Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
A man receiving attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, which became known as Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday. 30/1/1972
Bloody Sunday. 30/1/1972
JAMES WRAY IN HIS HOME IN THE BOGSIDE DERRY HOLDING THE COAT WITH BULLIET HOLES IN THAT HIS SON ALSO CALLED JAMES WRAY WAS KILLED ON BLOODY SUNDAY
Bloody Sunday. 30/1/1972
The start of a grim day in Derry. Civil Rights marchers make their way through Creggan. They defied a Government ban and headed for Guildhall Square, but were stopped by the Army in William Street. 31/1/1972
Bloody Sunday 1972
Linda Nash carries flowers with the number 14 inscribed during yesterdays annual Bloody Sunday Parade in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 29.1.12
A memorial to those killed on Bloody Sunday in the Bogside area of Derry
The memorial to the 14 people who died on Bloody Sunday in Derry rises from among the sea of umbrellas as all the families came together in an ecumenical service. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights mark.The service included contributions from Father Michael Canny and Reverend David Latimer, left. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 29.1.12

The Bloody Sunday murder inquiry could be drawn to a halt after seven former soldiers begun legal action against the PSNI in the High Court.

Solicitors acting for the former members of the Parachute Regiment have applied for a judicial review of the way the PSNI is conducting its inquiry following the arrest of a 66-year-old ex Lance Corporal, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Thirteen people were killed by members of the Parachute Regiment on the day of the incident. Another victim of the shootings died in hospital four months later.

A 66-year-old former British soldier who was arrested on Tuesday morning on suspicion of murdering three civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday has been released on police bail.

The arrest was the first made by detectives probing the deaths of the 14 people killed after the Army opened fire on crowds of protesters in Derry's bogside in January 1972.

It has been reported that solicitors acting for the seven men served emergency proceedings against the PSNI in the High Court.

According to The  Daily Telegraph, lawyers for the soldiers argue it would be illegal to arrest any of the soldiers in their homes without 24 hours prior notice for them to attend a police station.

They have also questioned the legality of the investigation which was launched by the PSNI in 2012 and claim it is being pursued for "political reasons".

It comes as the PSNI warned soldiers they may "lose their anonymity if they are charged".

They were granted anonymity by the Saville Inquiry.

The PSNI probe was initiated after the Saville Inquiry found that none of the victims of Bloody Sunday were posing a threat to soldiers when they were shot.

Following the publication of the Saville report in 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for the Army's actions, branding them "unjustified and unjustifiable".

The PSNI told the Daily Telegraph: “We are not treating suspects in this case any differently from suspects in any other case.”

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