Belfast Telegraph

SAS team is probed over killing of IRA men

By Cate McCurry

Senior police officers are investigating claims that 13 former SAS soldiers executed IRA members during the so-called 'shoot to kill' policy in the 1980s.

It has been reported that a probe has been launched as part of an inquest into the fatal shootings of two republicans in Londonderry in 1984.

According to the Irish Mail on Sunday, the former security service members could face criminal charges over the alleged policy while a dossier of incidents is to be handed to a legal hearing next month.

However, SAS sources have been reported as saying that the soldiers are innocent and fired in self-defence.

The PSNI interviews of former troops were requested by a coroner investigating the deaths of Daniel Doherty (23) and William Fleming (19), who were shot at Derry's Gransha Hospital while riding a motorbike. It was alleged at the time that the pair were planning to carry out an attack on an off-duty UDR soldier.

Lawyers for the two families have been told that some of the 13 soldiers played a part in other controversial fatal shootings.

Fearghal Shiels, of Madden and Finucane Solicitors, told the newspaper: "In order for this inquest to adequately explore the operation of a shoot-to-kill policy, and to enable the families to participate effectively in the inquest, the Ministry of Defence have been required to disclose details of the other lethal force incidents in which the military personnel were involved."

He added that other British soldiers would also be called to account.

An MoD spokesman said it cooperated fully with inquests into deaths in which its personnel were implicated.

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