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Decision to prosecute soldier reopens old wounds — Bloody Sunday

Decision to prosecute soldier reopens old wounds — Bloody Sunday”

He added: "Notwithstanding the unprecedented attempted political interference with the independence of the judicial process, the families have not only succeeded in consigning the Widgery report to history, and securing the complete vindication and declaration of innocence of all of the victims of Bloody Sunday through the Saville Inquiry, they have now secured the prosecution of Soldier F for the murder and attempted murder of six innocent people".

In the last few minutes officials from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) have made their long awaited announcement to the families of those shot dead and wounded on January 30, 1972 by the Parachute Regiment in Derry.

A former British soldier is set to be prosecuted in connection with the deaths of two civil rights protesters in Northern Ireland 47 years ago, part of an incident known as Bloody Sunday, prosecutors said Thursday (Friday morning NZ time).

The decisions announced today relate only to allegations of criminal conduct on Bloody Sunday itself.

The then UK Prime Minister David Cameron later apologised for the killings in the House of Commons, in a historic move which many former servicemen in the Bogside that day believed exonerated them.

However the available evidence surrounding 18 other suspects - 16 paratroopers and two alleged Official IRA members - who were investigated for charges up to and including murder was insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction, prosecutors decided.

Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, Stephen Herron said he was conscious relatives faced an "extremely hard day".

He added: "I am mindful that it has been a long road for the families to reach this point and today will be another extremely hard day for many of them".

ULSTER Sunday Timeline

Back in 2010, the Bloody Sunday Inquiry by Lord Saville found that the massacre had been "unjustified and unjustifiable" and acknowledged that none of the victims had posed a threat when killed. "We recognize the deep disappointment felt by many of those we met with today".

"We are making a summary of the reasons for our decisions available today to provide assurance to the public that our statutory responsibility was undertaken in this case with absolute integrity and impartiality, without fear or favour".

He said: "This is a remarkable achievement by the families and victims of Bloody Sunday".

The complex investigation files included 668 witness statements, numerous physical exhibits such as photographs, video and audio recordings, and a total of 125,000 pages of material. Her brother was just 19 years old.

"Justice matters to anybody", she said.

Families of the dead sought to right the wrongs of false claims that their loved ones had been armed.

A silent crowd lines both sides of the road as the funeral procession of those who died Bloody Sunday passes, 02-02-1972.



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