Belfast Telegraph

Protest over plan for time limit on Army prosecutions

By Mark Edwards

Relatives of people shot dead by soldiers and RUC officers during the Troubles have protested at Stormont against Government proposals to introduce a "statute of limitations".

The proposal would prevent security force members being prosecuted for offences during the early days of the Troubles.

Yesterday relatives expressed outrage at the move.

John Teggart, whose father Danny was killed in Ballymurphy in 1971, said the move would lead to an "amnesty for all".

"It is disgraceful where you have a statute of limitations put in by the British Government, actually inserted into the consultation paper," he said.

"How can families like ourselves co-operate with the consultation when you have a statute of limitations in it?"

It emerged yesterday that the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has advised the Government a ban on prosecuting soldiers and police officers would amount to an amnesty.

The commission also said the move may also breach international human rights law.

In advice to the Government supplied in June, the commission said if the statute of limitations "were held to excuse acts constituting gross human rights violations and abuses this would be incompatible with human rights law".

DUP leader Arlene Foster said last week that she was "concerned" about a possible amnesty for police and soldiers.

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said: "This has come out of nowhere, people are very angry about it."

Belfast Telegraph


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