Belfast Telegraph

Bloody Sunday family demand answers as no sign of Soldier F being brought to court

James Wray and (right) William McKinney
James Wray and (right) William McKinney
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

The family of a man allegedly murdered by a paratrooper on Bloody Sunday are to meet prosecutors to ask why there is a delay in bringing the soldier to court.

More than 70 days have passed since the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said it had enough evidence to bring murder and attempted murder charges against a member of the Parachute Regiment known as Soldier F.

However, he has still to appear in the dock.

Thirteen people were killed on Bloody Sunday, January 30, 1972, and a 14th victim died of his injuries months later.

Soldier F is charged with the murder of two of the victims, William McKinney and James Wray. He has also been charged with the attempted murder of four other civil rights protesters on the same day.

The PPS confirmed yesterday that no date has been set for Soldier F's court appearance, which is frustrating the family of William McKinney.

Mr McKinney's brother John said they cannot understand the delay.

He added: "The PPS will meet with all the families individually in the coming weeks and I will want to know what is holding up the start of the case against Soldier F.

"Surely if the PPS saw there was enough evidence to charge this man for the murder and attempted murder when they announced it away back in March, then he should have been brought to court within days.

"It makes me question if the PPS understands how frustrating this is for us, but I will make that clear when we meet with them."

The McKinney family are also considering legal action if laws have been breached by the erection of banners in support of Soldier F. The banners have appeared in a number of towns here.

Their legal team has written to the Department for Infrastructure asking that they are removed.

Mr McKinney continued: "As a family who are directly affected by the prosecution of Soldier F for the murder of our brother Willie, we are extremely concerned that banners have been erected pledging support for Soldier F before he has even appeared in court.

"We see this as an orchestrated and determined campaign by people who either have no idea of the extent of Soldier F's actions on Bloody Sunday, or they do know but still think it is acceptable.

"It is sadly ironic that these banners are appearing in working class unionist areas."

Mr McKinney added: "It is hurtful to us as a family that these banners are being flown but it is part of a wider refusal of some to accept the reality of what happened in Derry on Bloody Sunday.

"This is despite the findings of Lord Saville and the statement made by Prime Minister David Cameron who said the victims were innocent and posed no threat."

The Department for Infrastructure said it was "currently considering the issues raised and will respond in due course."

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