Soldiers who shot more than two dozen people on Bloody Sunday are very likely to face prosecutions brought by the injured and families of the 14 killed, Lord Ramsbotham has said.
The cross-bench peer served as military assistant to General Sir Michael Carver, Chief of the General Staff, at the time of Bloody Sunday. Speaking at the weekend, he said: “I suspect that probably the prosecutions we will see are more likely to be taken out by individuals against individuals — private prosecutions.”
But he added that it would be difficult to bring charges against soldiers that had been “ordered to go into an operation”, saying: “I mean, who are you going to charge and with what? It's very difficult, and 30 years ago, for heaven's sake! And when some of the |people are already dead, it doesn't make it any easier.”
His remarks highlight one of the most contentious aspects of the long-running Saville inquiry.
The release of its report tomorrow will be crucial in determining whether those involved acted illegally and, if so, the prospects of legal action.
The report itself is widely expected to criticise the Paratroopers who fired the fatal shots.