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16/09/2021

Troubles amnesty: Still no Public Prosecution Service decision on prosecution of Bloody Sunday soldiers

Bloody Sunday
No decision has as yet been taken on the potential prosecution of former soldiers in relation to Bloody Sunday, despite the fact that a police investigation into the actions of soldiers on the day in question began eight years ago. The PSNI’s murder investigation began after the launch of the Saville Report on the killings in June, 2010. The investigation took a number of years to complete before police submitted their files to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS). The Derry News understands that a decision was supposed to be given by the PPS to relatives of those killed and wounded in the Bogside on January 30, 1972 by the middle of last month. However, a new statement from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said: "The files relating to Bloody Sunday remain under consideration by the Public Prosecution Service and are at an advanced stage. "We will continue to keep the families and victims affected informed of the progress of the case." In May, 2017 it emerged that the PPS are contemplating whether various charges should be levelled at 18 former soldiers in relation to Bloody Sunday. The PPS is also looking at potential prosecutions of soldiers for perjury. Charges that the British ex-service personnel could face include murder, attempted murder, wounding, perjury and joint enterprise. Four soldiers who have been reported to the PPS by the police are now deceased. They were posthumously reported for the killing of nine people. Four soldiers have also been reported for the killing of six people and these same soldiers have also been reported for the wounding of seven people. Three different soldiers have been reported over the killings of four other people. A further trio of soldiers have been reported over the killing of Kevin McElhinney and an additional seven soldiers-one of who is now dead-have been reported over the killing of John Duddy, the shooting of Margaret (Peggy) Deery, Michael Bridge, Michael Bradley, Patrick McDaid, Patrick Brolly and Pius McCarron. One soldier has been reported for the killing of High Gilmour and another soldier again for the killing of Kevin McElhinney. Then, in September 2017, it emerged that the PPS for the first time, were considering the prosecution of republicans in relation to Bloody Sunday. The PSNI forwarded a file to the PPS one former Official IRA member and were preparing another. A letter sent to relatives of victims on Bloody Sunday stated: “The suspect is not a soldier and is not alleged to have shot any civilian. The file relates to Official IRA activity on Bloody Sunday.”

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