Cases against six retired British soldiers to continue

LEGAL cases in the North of Ireland against six retired British soldiers will not be affected by government efforts to prevent what it has described as “vexatious prosecutions”, it has been reported.

A very rare photograph of ‘Soldier F’ which was taken in Co Derry in 1972

Cases are expected to proceed to trial against six former British soldiers including ‘Soldier F’, who faces murder charges over Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972. The British government has been preparing legislation claimed to stop “vexatious” prosecutions of soldiers linked to the Troubles. The Sunday Times reported that the legislation will not affect the cases already under way, for which trials are expected to start at the end of this year or early in 2021. Government sources told the paper the legislation would not pass through parliament until the end of this year at the earliest.

“There is no existing mechanism for the government to step in with respect to prosecutions in the North of Ireland that are currently on going,” a senior government source said. “Changing the position regarding the government’s powers over prosecutions in the North of Ireland would require primary legislation and would be contrary to the devolution of policing and justice.” Tory MP Bob Stewart, a retired colonel, told the Sunday Times: “I don’t think this is justice for our soldiers who have been investigated number times and then brought before the North of Ireland courts. The prime minister promised he going to sort this out.” UK defence secretary Ben Wallace defended the government’s plans. “The government has repeatedly committed to ensuring equal treatment for veterans, most recently by the prime minister,” he said. “We continue to work with colleagues to deliver on that commitment and end the scourge of vexatious claims and repeated investigations.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story 

Bloody Sunday families demand case to be kept in Co. Derry

Brother says ‘Soldier F’ hearing should not be moved!

Bloody Sunday not forgotten your Poppy here for us means nothing

The Bloody Sunday families will fight “tooth and nail” to prevent the Soldier F murder case being moved out of Derry. Michael McKinney, whose brother, William was among those gunned down in cold blood by British Paratroopers said his family would not allow his brothers murder to be treated differently than any other victim. Mr McKinney (pictured below) was speaking after District Judge Barney McElholm suggested the case be moved to Belfast to ensure a suitable venue was available.

PLEDGE: Michael McKinney said his family will fight ‘tooth and nail’ to keep the ‘Soldier F’ case in Derry

Soldier F is facing two murder charges in connection with the 1972 murders of 13 innocent victims on Bloody Sunday.

“We as a family will not let Willie be treated differently from any other victim” – Michael McKinney 

The former British Paratrooper is to be charged with the murder of William McKinney and Jim Wray (both pictured in the featured image) as well as four counts of attempted murder. He denies the charges. At a preliminary hearing in Co Derry yesterday – at which ‘Soldier F’ was not present – a Public Prosecution lawyer said a decision must be taken on a venue for the case in the near future. Judge McElholm said it looked likely that the case would have to be moved out of Derry. “We cannot convene this in just some hall or public space. There are considerations of security,” he said. “We are willing to listen to any opposition put to us. “At the moment, despite trying to get somewhere closer to the city, I am afraid Belfast looks like the venue.” Solicitor for the Bloody Sunday families, Ciaran Shiels, said the case should be heard in Derry.


“This is where the killings occurred, a stone’s throw from these buildings,” he said. “We have always been of the view that ‘F’ should be attending here in person at his committal and that remains the position.” He said other arrangements could be made to overcome any logistical challenges while, in security terms, police favoured Derry over Belfast.

A very rare photograph of ‘Soldier F’ which was taken in Co Derry in 1972

His comments were echoed by Mr McKinney, who said the Bloody Sunday families were determined that ‘Soldier F’ should stand trial in Derry. “My brother was an innocent young Derry man who was shot dead on the streets of his hometown and now there are moves to take the trial out of Derry,” he said. “We’ll fight tooth and nail to keep this case in Derry.”

Follow this link to find out more in 1971 11 people were murdered in Ballymurphy  by by the same British Army regiment who murdered 13 innocent people on Bloody Sunday in Derry:

The families are also opposing moves to continue anonymity for ‘Soldier F’. Mr Shiels said he been informed that if ‘Soldier F’ wished to maintain his anonymity, his lawyers should set out in detail the legal provision on which they rely.

Ballymurphy 1971 British State Murder For Hire

The Bloody Sunday families have two weeks to make submissions challenging the decision to move the hearings to Belfast. The case has been adjourned until February 7th 2020.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Seamus McKinney for the original story 
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