The North’s new Attorney General John Larkin has ordered that a new inquest be held into a controversial British army ‘shoot-to-kill’ case.
The order was his first act since taking up the post on Monday to become the first Six-County attorney general in 37 years.
The following day he directed the coroner’s office to hold a second inquest into the death of Francis Bradley who was shot indisputed circumstances by the SAS near Toomebridge, County Antrim, in February 1986.
At the original inquest in Magherafelt, County Derry, in 1987, Bradley’s killers were not compelled to give evidence.
Files including RUC interviews with the British soldiers involved and relevant military documentation were withheld.
Mr Bradley, whop was twenty years old, was shot eight tunes. Four of the bullets were fired into his back from close range.
The British army claimed he had been moving guns for the IRA, and presented two rifles they said were found nearby.
However, Mr Bradley’s family disputed this and the IRA denied that he was a member of the organisation at the time.
The family yesterday welcomed the decision.
They said they had waited more than 24 years to learn the truth about Francis’s death.
The family’s legal representative, Fearghal Shiels of Madden and Finucane Solicitors, said the order was significant and could affect other cases.
“The effect of this direction by the attorney general is that the persons directly responsible for the death. who did not appear to give evidence at the first inquest, are now as a result of a change in the rules compellable witnesses and will be subject to questioning by the family’s lawyers: he said.
The family said: “We now look forward to hearing them account for their actions.”