Belfast Telegraph

Military chief expresses discomfort at prospect of Troubles investigation

 

By Richard Wheeler

The head of the Armed Forces has said he feels "uncomfortable" at the prospect of being investigated as part of the Troubles probe.

General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, acknowledged his multiple tours in Northern Ireland but added that it was for politicians to decide what to do with the process examining the region's past.

Conservative MPs have led the opposition against British veterans facing potential legal action for events linked to the Troubles.

In July, more than 30 of them supported a backbench proposal for a 20-year time limit on reopening cases involving former members of the Armed Forces who served here.

Prime Minister Theresa May has labelled the existing investigation system as "flawed" due to its "disproportionate focus" on former members of the Armed Forces and police, with a consultation on dealing with legacy issues recently closing.

More than 3,600 people were killed as a result of the Troubles.

Sir Nick, in an interview with The House magazine, said: "As a military officer who's done multiple tours in Northern Ireland, I am uncomfortable with the prospect of being investigated.

"But this is a political issue and is, therefore, something that the politicians have to deal with.

"And of course, it's associated with the peace process. Again, it's a political issue."

Sir Nick also addressed the difficulties experienced by veterans after returning from service, noting: "I feel it myself. Not a day goes by when I don't think of the 375 people who died under my command in southern Afghanistan in 2010. But I'm fortunate that I've got people I can talk to about it still."

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