Review sought into Bloody Sunday prosecution decision

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Lawyers representing the families of nine of those massacred by the British Army on Bloody Sunday have asked for a review of a decision not to prosecute nine soldiers in Derry in 1972.

They also say the former member of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment known as ‘Soldier F’ -- who is already facing two charges of murder and four of attempted murder on Bloody Sunday -- should be charged with the murder of three other victims and the attempted murder of two of the wounded.

Thirteen people died when soldiers opened fire on an anti-internment march in the Bogside area of the city on January 30th, 1972. A 14th died later.

Prosecutors say they considered charges against 17 former soldiers following an investigation by the PSNI, but decided to prosecute only one, Soldier F.

In the 149-page document, Madden and Finucane Solicitors argue that the Crown Prosecution Service “erred in failing to prosecute” Soldier R for the murder of Jackie Duddy; Soldiers P and J for the murders of John Young and Michael McDaid; Soldier U for the murder of Hugh Gilmour; Soldiers 039, K and M for the murder of Kevin McElhinney, and Soldier H for the murder of William McKinney.

They also argue Soldier V should face a charge of attempted murder or grievous bodily harm for the injuries caused to Peggy Deery, as should Soldier H in relation to four of the wounded: Joe Friel, Joe Mahon, Michael Quinn and Patrick O’Donnell.

They also argue Soldier F should be prosecuted for the murders of Michael Kelly, Bernard McGuigan and Patrick Doherty and for attempted murder or grievous bodily harm for the injuries to Patrick Campbell and Daniel McGowan.

The firm’s submission is that the prosecutors “erred in law” in a number of respects, including in their conclusion that neither the test for prosecution nor the evidential test had been met and “in concluding that ‘there is no reasonable prospect’ that the soldiers’ own accounts would be admitted in evidence”.

COMPENSATION

Meanwhile, one survivor of the massacre is to receive a compensation payment, 47 years on.

Joe Friel, who had been protesting for civil rights when he was shot in the chest by a British soldier as he tried to run to safety, is to receive £350,000 compensation.

The settlement was reached at the High Court in the 68-year-old’s claim for injuries and false allegations that he had been armed when paratroopers opened fire in Derry in January 1972.

His lawyers described it as a “blatant, malicious and outrageous lie” which persisted until he was publicly exonerated more than 40 years later.

The court heard he suffered chest wounds and was carried to a house where he remembers women saying the rosary, leaving him terrified that he was going to die.

The payment is also supposed to cover loss of earnings after he was forced to retire early from his job due to deteriorating health.

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