Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Bloody Sunday: No more ex-soldiers will be arrested until legal case is heard

Published 16/11/2015

The SDLP's Alex Attwood, left, speaking to Kate Nash, right, whose brother William was killed by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday
The SDLP's Alex Attwood, left, speaking to Kate Nash, right, whose brother William was killed by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday

Detectives investigating the Bloody Sunday killings have undertaken not to arrest any more ex-soldiers until a legal challenge against their detention approach is heard.

Seven former paratroopers are seeking a judicial review into the way the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is conducting its historical probe into the deaths of 14 civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry in 1972.

The legal bid argues that the men should not be arrested and taken to Northern Ireland for questioning because they are willing to voluntarily attend police interview in England.

It was lodged with the High Court in London after the arrest of a former colleague in Northern Ireland last week - the first ex-soldier detained.

A judge in London has scheduled a hearing at the Divisional Courts in London on Thursday November 26.

It is understood the PSNI made the undertaking not to make any further arrests before the hearing through legal correspondence with lawyers for the ex-soldiers.

The 66-year-old detained in Co Antrim last Tuesday was released on police bail a day later.

His arrest was welcomed by relatives of those killed.

However, a petition calling for soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday to be granted immunity from prosecution has gained more than 23,000 supporters in less than a week.

A protest march against the police investigation of the former paras is also being planned in London this weekend.

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

Northern Ireland police launched the murder investigation in 2012. It was initiated after a Government-commissioned inquiry, undertaken by Lord Saville, found that none of the victims was 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".

In September, the PSNI told bereaved families they intended to interview a number of former soldiers about their involvement on the day.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph