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.
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.
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: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2295906417095915&id=100000297382246
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.
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.