Northern Ireland veteran disturbed by commencement of Bloody Sunday murder trial

Resuming the trial of a British soldier accused of murder and attempted murder on Bloody Sunday 50 years ago has angered a furious Northern Ireland veteran.

The former paratrooper, also known as Soldier F, will likely once again be called before a court for his suspected involvement in the tragedy that occurred in Londonderry in 1972 at the height of the Troubles.

But Lieutenant Colonel Chris Parker was incensed by the news, claiming that while British veterans are still being pursued, IRA terrorists are being allowed to “enjoy their retirement.”

‘With all the terrorists let out after convictions on licence, most Northern Ireland veterans wonder why there seems to be no let up to the harassment of Northern Ireland veterans in this way,’ Lt. Col. Parker, who served in Northern Ireland for a total of six years and completed five tours, told MailOnline.

“The UK cannot have the ex-terrorists in the IRA enjoying retirement, many with significant benefits from taxpayers, while our veterans, who served the country to protect the peace, are left wondering when they too will be allowed to retire in peace,” the statement reads.

In accordance with the Good Friday Agreement, which aimed to bring peace to Northern Ireland, it was decided that terrorists who had been convicted of crimes would be freed from jail in exchange for the IRA ending its violent campaign.

A new amnesty for IRA combatants was declared by the government last year in order to shield them from prosecution.

The action was intended to provide mercy to British soldiers, spies, and Republican terrorists in an effort to end the witch hunt against veterans.

Families of those killed by the IRA during its decades-long campaign of terror, however, reacted angrily to the plans and called the pact “obscene.”

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in Northern Ireland also revealed that the case against Soldier F, which had been dismissed, would now be reopened, ushering in a new chapter in the Troubles drama.

The PPS had previously decided to withdraw proceedings against the ex-soldier for the deaths of James Wray and William McKinney, but the Belfast High Court overturned that decision.

After that, the McKinney family successfully used judicial review to contest the prosecution’ first judgement.

The PPS said that after reevaluating its stance on the issue, it has decided to reopen the case against the unnamed former paratrooper.

Additionally, the court earlier this month denied the PPS’s request to have its appeal sent to the UK Supreme Court.

Following a reconsideration of its stance, the PPS has decided to reopen the case.

Two charges of murder and five counts of attempted murder are being brought against Soldier F.

Former veterans minister Johnny Mercer criticised the government for doing little to shield retired soldiers from punishment when the investigations into the ex-British servicemen first caused anger.

According to the retired Army officer, “the reality is that these people’s experiences after having served this nation, 50 years later, are their experiences are constantly being dragged over to Northern Ireland, and they are asked to relive their experiences, it is people are drinking themselves to death.”

“And all they did was serve at the government’s and the House of Commons’ request to preserve the rule of law in Northern Ireland while the peace lasted.”

Yet for now, we’re content to block them off from those who want to change the course of history.

The ruling issued by the Divisional Court in March 2022 has been thoroughly scrutinised, and a new examination of this case has been conducted, according to Michael Agnew, deputy director of public prosecutions.

“It has been determined that the first decision to prosecute Soldier F should remain in order to give effect to the Divisional Court verdict.

“Therefore, the postponed committal procedures should now go on.”

“The PPS has written to the families and victims’ advocates who were intimately engaged in Soldier F’s prosecution to reaffirm this decision.”

“We have volunteered to meet with the families to discuss the case’s future stages and to address any issues they may have,” the statement reads. Legal counsel for Soldier F has also been notified.

“I am well aware of the distress the PPS decision to end the case against Soldier F last year has caused the Bloody Sunday family.” It is our responsibility to continuously assess the evidence used in each case.

The Divisional Court observed that this case offered tough and complicated legal challenges for the prosecution. The PPS is dedicated to moving the legal procedures against Soldier F forward as soon as possible.

The McKinney family’s attorneys said that they had been assured that the case would go back up the following week.

The prosecution of Soldier F will continue next week, according to Mickey McKinney, William McKinney’s brother.

“We hope that the PPS is able to quickly get a date for the committal procedures to resume and that Soldier F is swiftly brought back before the Crown Court for trial.”

In the next weeks, “We want to meet with the PPS to discuss the future advancement of the case.”

13 civil rights activists were shot dead by British forces on Bloody Sunday, one of the worst days in Northern Ireland’s history, in the Bogside neighbourhood of Londonderry.

Four months after being wounded by paratroopers on January 30, 1972, another guy passed away. Although many people think of him as the 14th victim of Bloody Sunday, an incurable brain tumour was officially the cause of death.

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