Belfast Telegraph

Bloody Sunday soldier arrests urged

Police should prioritise the arrest of soldiers involved in the shooting of civil rights protesters in Northern Ireland in 1972, a lawyer for their families has said.

The call comes as relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday prepare to meet senior police officers tomorrow.

The meeting has been set up to discuss the ongoing investigation and the allocation of resources to the case.

Fearghal Shiels, of Madden & Finucane law firm, said: "A key issue for agreement will be a firm commitment by the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) to prioritise the arrest of the soldiers involved.

"We would also press for a speedy conclusion of the gathering of the key witness evidence and a clear timeline as to when the police file will be submitted to the Public Prosecution Service who will then direct on the appropriate criminal charges."

Thirteen people were shot and killed when British paratroopers opened fire on a crowd of civilians in Londonderry on January 30 1972. Fourteen others were wounded, one later died

The marchers had been campaigning for equal rights such as one man, one vote.

The Saville Report which followed a long-running public inquiry found soldiers from the Parachute Regiment had opened fire first.

Prime Minister David Cameron later apologised in Parliament, saying he was "deeply sorry".

Relatives of some victims want the troops responsible for the deaths to face prosecution and a fresh police investigation was opened.

Last November 20 relatives lodged a legal challenge against the PSNI chief constable over a decision to scale back the Bloody Sunday investigation because of multimillion-pound budget cuts.

They claimed the PSNI had a statutory obligation to hold an adequately resourced investigation.

Earlier this year it was revealed that a new legacy unit, which replaced the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), was now overseeing the Bloody Sunday case.

It will operate until the new Historical Investigations Unit proposed in the Stormont House Agreement takes over responsibility for Troubles-related issues.


From Belfast Telegraph