Belfast Telegraph

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

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.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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