Bloody Sunday soldier trial can use 51-year-old witness statements

The trial of a Bloody Sunday soldier can use witness statements greater than 50 years outdated, a decide has dominated.

Soldier F, a former paratrooper who can’t be recognized for authorized causes, is accused of murdering James Wray and William McKinney in 1972 when members of the Parachute Regiment shot lifeless 13 civil rights protesters in Londonderry.

The soldier can also be charged with 5 tried murders.

Throughout committal proceedings on Friday on the magistrates’ court docket in Derry, District Decide Ted Magill stated he was glad the statements from 5 troopers will be handled in a “honest, simply and dependable trend” by a trial decide. He dominated that the proof of a sixth witness can’t be admitted.

The decide’s ruling centred round a bid by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to make use of proof statements given to the 1972 Widgery Report and to the Royal Navy Police by different troopers within the Bogside on the day.

James Wray (left) and William McKinney died on Bloody Sunday – Bloody Sunday Belief/PA

Decide Magill stated: “I’m glad that the trial course of is absolutely able to coping with these, as with all different proof, in a good, simply and dependable trend.”

The decide stated the defence have a “wealth of fabric” by which they’ll contest the case at trial.

He added: “I’ve discovered nothing to influence me that there’s any unfairness within the admission of the rumour statements of those 5 witnesses, reiterating and re-emphasising, that I’m not the trial decide.”

Ciaran Shiels, lawyer for most of the Bloody Sunday households, stated it was “a optimistic and passable ruling”.

Ciaran Shiels

Lawyer Ciaran Shiels says the ruling is a big transfer ahead – Jonathan McCambridge/PA

He stated: “5 of these witnesses’ proof is now admitted as proof earlier than this court docket. It’s a vital transfer ahead.

“It’s a step nearer to the households seeing Soldier F being dedicated and despatched ahead for trial.

“These proceedings will likely be in Belfast, will probably be a Diplock trial.”

Mickey McKinney, brother of sufferer William McKinney, stated: “We glance ahead now with renewed confidence to Soldier F being formally returned to face trial for homicide and tried homicide as expeditiously as attainable.”

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