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Soldier F trial to resume for Bloody Sunday murders – The Irish TimesSEDI News

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Soldier F’s trial for murder and attempted murder on Bloody Sunday is set to resume.

The North’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) confirmed on Thursday that it had decided to continue the prosecution against Soldier F, which it had put on hold last year.

It follows a decision by senior magistrates in Belfast earlier this year to refuse PPS leave to appeal a ruling and overturn a decision to stop legal proceedings against Soldier F.

Mickey McKinney, the brother of William McKinney – one of the two victims in connection with whom Trooper F faced murder charges – welcomed the decision and said he was “delighted” that Trooper F could be reopened.

Belfast-based Madden and Finucane solicitors said on Thursday that prosecutors had confirmed that the trial of the former member of the British Army’s parachute regiment would resume on September 27.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Michael Agnew said the judgment handed down by the Divisional Court in March 2022 had been “carefully scrutinized and the case re-examined.

“It is concluded that, in order to give effect to the judgment of the Divisional Court, the original decision to prosecute Soldier F should stand.

“Therefore, the committed action which was put on hold should now go ahead,” he said.

Mr Agnew said the PPS had written to representatives of the families and victims directly involved in the prosecution of Soldier F and had also informed his legal representatives.

He said he was “very conscious of the distress caused to the Bloody Sunday families by the PPS’s decision to withdraw proceedings against Soldier F last year” and that he was “committed to proceeding with court proceedings against Soldier F without further delay.”

Thirteen people were killed when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Derry on January 30, 1972. Other injured people later died.

Following a police investigation the PPS announced that it would charge Soldier F with five counts of attempted murder and the murder of the two victims, William McKinney and James Ray, on Bloody Sunday.

However, the case against him was reviewed following the collapse of separate criminal proceedings against two other army veterans for Troubles-era offences, and in July last year the PPS announced the closure of the proceedings.

This was challenged by the families, and in March this year High Court judges overturned the decision to drop the manslaughter charges against Soldier F and directed the PPS to reconsider its decision.

At the time the case was adjourned, Soldier F’s proceedings had reached the committal stage at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court and the proceedings had been partially heard.

PPS said Thursday it intends to reactivate the case at its next scheduled court date.