26 Sept 2022

A review into Bloody Sunday in Belfast in 1972 gets underway

Families challenging decision to discontinue prosecutions

A review into Bloody Sunday in Belfast in 1972 gets underway

Fourteen people were killed by British paratroopers on Bloody Sunday.

The judicial review undertaken by some of the relatives of those murdered on Bloody Sunday dead has begun in Belfast.

The review is challenging the decision by the Public Prosecution Service not to prosecute any other soldier apart from Soldier F for their actions on January 30, 1972, and the more recent decision to discontinue the prosecution of Soldier F.

Opening for some of the relatives, Karen Quinlivan QC argued that the decision by the PPS to rule that various accounts given by soldiers in 1972 would be ruled inadmissible in a criminal court was flawed.

She said that on Bloody Sunday 108 live rounds were fired and no one was doing anything that would have justified that firing.

The hearing was told that there was an agreement in place at the time between the Chief Constable of the RUC and the GOC of the British Army that incidents where lethal force was used by the British Army they would be investigated by the Royal Military Police.

Ms Quinlivan said that soldiers were 'interviewed as witnesses not suspects.'

She said they were not cautioned nor were they legally represented while making these statements.

Lord Justice Maguire said that the fact the RUC were not involved and was 'not a great investigative vista.'

The barrister told the hearing that the interviews by the RMP were 'amicable' and a senior officer was present.

She argued that the intention behind this scheme was to 'protect' soldiers not to convict them.

The hearing continues and is scheduled to last a week.

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