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Northern Ireland

No perjury charges to be brought against British soldiers over Bloody Sunday

Prosecutors had been deciding whether to bring the charges against the 15 former soldiers.

FORMER BRITISH SOLDIERS investigated for perjury over Bloody Sunday will not face any charges, the Bloody Sunday families have said.

Prosecutors had been deciding whether to bring the charges against the 15 former soldiers.

Ciaran Shiels of Madden & Finucane solicitors representing the families said today that the Public Prosecution Service in the North had decided not to pursue charges.

“The Bloody Sunday families are very disappointed at this PPS decision, but they are certainly not fooled by it,” he said.

John Kelly – whose 17-year-old brother Michael was killed on the day – said:

“The families of Bloody Sunday who sit here today disappointed and perplexed by this decision not to prosecute a single soldier for perjury ask themselves rhetorically:

“‘Why is it that the people of Derry cannot forget the events of Bloody Sunday, yet th Parachute Regiment, who caused all of the deaths and injury on that day, apparently cannot recall it?’

“The answer to this question is quite simple but painfully obvious.

“The British Army lied its way through the conflict in the north. Accountability was never an option.

“And it is clear from the events of Bloody Sunday that killing unarmed civilians and lying about the circumstances of those murders never operated as a bar to individual promotions for soldiers, but in fact helped endear themselves to their superior officers and authorities.

We consider that today’s ruling by the PPS is an affront to the rule of law and a continuation of the injustice that was perpetrated on Bloody Sunday.

Thirteen civil rights protesters were shot dead by British soldiers and 15 injured in the Bogside area of Derry on 30 January, 1972.

Another man shot by paratroopers that day died four months later.

While many consider him the 14th victim of Bloody Sunday, his death was formally attributed to an inoperable brain tumour.

Another former paratrooper – Soldier F – who cannot be identified, is currently on trial for the role he played in Bloody Sunday.

He is accused of murdering James Wray and William McKinney when members of the Parachute Regiment shot dead 13 civil rights protesters on the streets of the city.

He is also charged with five attempted murders. 

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