Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Families of Bloody Sunday victims in prosecutions move

The families of 10 of the 14 victims of Bloody Sunday have sought the prosecutions of the soldiers from the Parachute Regiment responsible for their deaths in January 1972 in Londonderry.

A total of 14 men and boys were shot dead in Derry by soldiers as they took part in a civil rights march.

In June the findings of a report by Lord Saville declared that all the dead and injured were innocent.

No soldier has ever been charged with the killings.

However, almost 40 years after the event, a case is now being prepared for the Public Prosecution Service.

One of those pushing for prosecutions is John Kelly, whose brother Michael was shot dead when he was just 17.

Mr Kelly said that while the publication of Saville’s report in June was “a euphoric day”, he saw it as a stepping stone towards securing convictions against the soldier who killed Michael.

He added: “For 39 years we fought for truth and justice and while Saville gave us the truth, now we must have justice.

“This is something I have personally sought all along and have never given up hope of achieving.

“I am very confident that I, along with the other families, will see the soldiers responsible for their deaths prosecuted.

“Every death that day was labelled as ‘unjustified and unjustifiable’ by the British Prime Minister and in my book that's murder — which was why we instructed our solicitor to proceed and prepare a case.”

The Belfast-based firm of solicitors Madden and Finucane represent the 10 families. Yesterday their office confirmed that they submitted “detailed representations to the Public Prosecution Service requesting that those responsible for the murders and attempted murders on Bloody Sunday be prosecuted in court”.

Solicitor Peter Madden said: “It is clear to us that the evidential and public interest tests for bringing prosecutions have been satisfied.”

This new development came a day after what is believed to have been the last march by the families and their supporters to commemorate the deaths.

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