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British soldier Bloody Sunday arrests halted pending court challenge

A 66-year-old former paratrooper was questioned and released last week.

Crowd carry pictures of the victims of Bloody Sunday as the report of the Saville Inquiry was released.
Crowd carry pictures of the victims of Bloody Sunday as the report of the Saville Inquiry was released.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

THE PSNI HAS agreed not to arrest any ex-British soldiers suspected in the shooting dead of civil rights marchers on Bloody Sunday pending a judicial appeal.

Seven former members of the parachute regiment are challenging the lawfulness of their potential arrest in Northern Ireland, claiming that they are willing to be interviewed in England.

The review is set to be heard by a London court on Thursday week and the PSNI has undertaken not to make any arrests in the interim.

It comes after a 66-year-old former soldier was arrested and questioned last week over the events of Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972 when fourteen people were shot and killed.

Families of those killed in the atrocity welcomed last week’s arrest but are now considering a new ruling by a UK judge ahead of next week’s hearing.

Solicitors for some of the families say that Mr Justice Ouseley ordered that the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday are not persons “directly affected” by the application by the ex-paras.

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The decision was made because it was decided that their application related solely to the lawfulness of their arrests in Northern Ireland.

The latest development comes as a petition to grant immunity to the British soldiers on patrol in Derry that day topped 23,000 signatures since last week.

Read: Former British soldier released on bail after arrest over Bloody Sunday murders >

Read: 66-year-old former British soldier arrested over Bloody Sunday shootings >

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Rónán Duffy

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