Belfast Telegraph

Ian Gow's widow slams 'cloud cuckoo land' probes into Troubles soldiers

By Noel McAdam

The widow of a Conservative MP murdered by the IRA has slammed investigations of British soldiers for Troubles-related killings as "cloud cuckoo land".

Dame Jane Whitely, whose husband Ian Gow died in a car bomb 27 years ago, said she had read reports of soldiers being asked for new witness statements for forthcoming inquests in disbelief.

Breaking her silence about the IRA attack, she said: "The identities of the two suspects alleged to have planted the car bomb that killed my husband at our home in East Sussex in July 1990 are known to the police. They have never been brought to trial. To put soldiers who were doing their duty in very difficult conditions through the stress of further investigations, while allowing two known bombers to live without threat of arrest, seems like cloud cuckoo land. So much for British justice."

The Provisionals said he had been targeted because he was a "close personal associate" of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Notices calling for witnesses to come forward have been sent to Army regimental associations across the country. The Ministry of Defence has also warned that it will be writing to individual veterans that it believes were present at the time of the killings, or who may have evidence.

"The MoD plays an active role supporting coroners with legacy inquests and part of the process involves contacting and supporting veterans. The overwhelming majority of those who served in Northern Ireland did so with great bravery and distinction," a spokesperson said. "Any member of the military affected by any form of investigation into Troubles-related incidents will rightly be supported throughout and anyone suspected of a criminal offence will receive free MoD legal representation."

But the Justice for Veterans UK group hit out: "This new witch-hunt is disgraceful and unwelcome. Yet again, veterans are being hunted down and treated like we were the terrorists."

Belfast Telegraph

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