Belfast Telegraph

Soldier F Bloody Sunday trial adjourned until later in year

Soldier F is charged with the murder of William McKinney (left) and James Wray on Bloody Sunday
Soldier F is charged with the murder of William McKinney (left) and James Wray on Bloody Sunday
Leona O'Neill

By Leona O'Neill

The case of a veteran soldier facing a murder trial over Bloody Sunday has been adjourned until later in the year.

Yesterday, the prosecution of Soldier F reached the courtroom for the first time at Londonderry Magistrates' Court.

The former paratrooper faces two murder charges in relation to the deaths of William McKinney and Jim Wray and five counts of attempted murder.

Thirteen people died on January 30, 1972 when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a civil rights march in the city's Bogside on what later became known as Bloody Sunday. Another man died later from injuries sustained on the day.

Soldier F, who is now in his 60s, was not at Bishop Street Courthouse for the first listing yesterday, but was instead represented by his legal team, which said it needed time to consider evidence. District Judge Barney McElholm agreed to an adjournment and said that the soldier's anonymity remains in place by court order.

The families sat quietly in the public gallery of courtroom four as proceedings played out.

Speaking after the morning's hearing, Ciaran Shiels, of Madden and Finucane Solicitors, which represents many of the Bloody Sunday families, said that he intends to challenge the veteran's anonymity.

"We intend to write to the Public Prosecution Service to ask it to robustly challenge Soldier F's anonymity," he said.

"Public confidence in this prosecution requires it to proceed in an open and transparent manner." He added: "Soldier F should be prosecuted in a manner consistent with the prosecution of the vast majority of the limited number of soldiers who were prosecuted in the past for murder and attempted murder, without the benefit of anonymity".

The case has been adjourned until December 4 to allow Soldier F's defence lawyers to provide a precise list of witnesses, whose evidence it intends to challenge by way of a mixed committal hearing.

Belfast Telegraph


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