Belfast Telegraph

Bloody Sunday murder charge ex-soldier faces August court date

Killed: James Wray (left) and William McKinney
Killed: James Wray (left) and William McKinney

By Catherine Wylie

A former paratrooper facing prosecution for two murders and four attempted murders on Bloody Sunday is expected to appear in court in Londonderry in August.

The Army veteran - a former lance corporal in the Parachute Regiment, known only as Soldier F - faces charges for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney in Derry in 1972.

He also faces charges for the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has informed relatives that it is anticipated Soldier F will appear at Londonderry Magistrates Court in August.

A PPS spokeswoman said: "Significant progress has been made on the process of preparing the large volume of court papers required before a summons can issue to Soldier F.

"While this complex process is at an advanced stage, the Public Prosecution Service has had to request some further material from police before the necessary papers can be finalised.

"Based on the estimated time required for this material to be provided, the prosecution team expects to be in a position to issue a summons to the defendant next month.

"It is therefore envisaged at this stage that Soldier F will make his first court appearance on a date in August, at Londonderry Magistrates Court."

Ciaran Shiels, from Madden & Finucane solicitors, which represents Bloody Sunday families, said: "We have requested a timetable in relation to the prosecutions and we had previously made submissions that Soldier F should face criminal proceedings in Derry as it was in this city where the crimes we say he committed took place."

Thirteen civil rights demonstrators were shot dead on January 30, 1972, on one of the most notorious days of the Troubles.

Bloody Sunday families vowed to continue their campaign for justice after it was announced in March that only one former paratrooper - Soldier F - is to be prosecuted over the shootings.

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