Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

'Ice Bucket Challenge' angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

#TECH 24

Tomorrow's Transport Today

Read more

FOCUS

Mothers and children leaving Honduras at all costs

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US journalist Peter Theo Curtis freed in Syria

Read more

ENCORE!

An art wonderland: A burnt-out piano, a bed in a box and a giant magic mushroom

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Historian Jean Garrigues: 'For the first time, Hollande knows what he is doing'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

Europe

Bloody Sunday soldiers could face murder trial

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-20

Police are preparing a criminal investigation into the deadly Bloody Sunday massacre in Northern Ireland, which could see British soldiers facing murder charges more than 40 years after the shootings, The Sunday Times has reported.

As many as 20 British soldiers could face arrest on charges including murder and attempted murder for the role they played in the deadly Bloody Sunday massacre in Northern Ireland on January 30th, 1972.

In one of the most notorious incidents in the history of the Troubles, the infamous shootings saw members of the British Army’s First Battalion of the Parachute Regiment open fire on unarmed Catholic civil rights protesters in the Bogside area of Derry, killing 14 people and injuring several others.

Now, more than 40 years on, police are preparing a criminal investigation into the massacre, which may lead to the soldiers involved going on trial for murder, attempted murder and criminal injury, the UK’s Sunday Times reported.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence has enlisted lawyers to represent the soldiers, now aged in their 60s and 70s, the newspaper reported.

A source close to the police said: “This is the beginning. It is the first time the soldiers will have been interviewed formally by police as part of a murder investigation. It is possible that some of the soldiers will be prosecuted.”

The launch of the criminal investigation comes three years after the publication of the findings of a landmark inquiry into Bloody Sunday overseen by Lord Saville.

‘Unjustified and unjustifiable’

Costing £200 million and taking 12 years to complete, the Saville inquiry labeled the killings both "unjustified and unjustifiable" and found that, contrary to previous belief, the protesters had been unarmed and had not been throwing stones or petrol bombs when the soldiers opened fire.

A total of 26 soldiers, including privates, corporals, lance corporals and sergeants, had fired shots, with two soldiers, identified only as Lance-Corporal F and Soldier G, shooting between eight and 10 people, said Lord Saville in his report.

After the incident, many of the soldiers "knowingly put forward false accounts in order to seek to justify their firing", it said.

All the soldiers involved gave evidence to the Saville inquiry, though their names have never been made public to protect them from reprisals.

The new criminal investigation is likely to be “lengthy and complex”, a spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland told The Sunday Times.

"For the investigation to be as comprehensive and effective as possible, police will be asking for public support in the form of witnesses who gave evidence to the Saville inquiry now making statements to detectives,” he said.

"This is because police are precluded from using Saville testimony in a criminal investigation."

In 2010, following the publication of the Saville inquiry’s findings, British Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for the events of Bloody Sunday on behalf of the UK government, saying in a House of Commons speech that he was "deeply sorry" for what had happened.

Date created : 2013-10-20

  • UK

    Riots rock Belfast over blocked Orange march

    Read more

  • NORTHERN IRELAND

    Loyalist rally in Belfast turns into riot

    Read more

  • NORTHERN IRELAND

    Clinton visits Belfast amid rising sectarian tensions

    Read more

COMMENT(S)