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Bloody Sunday prosecution of Soldier F to resume

BBc News Ni :- The prosecution of Soldier F for murder and attempted murder on Bloody Sunday is to recommence, the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has said.

It comes after the Belfast High Court overruled the PPS’s previous decision to drop charges against the ex-soldier.

The PPS said it had since reviewed its position on the matter and decided to resume the prosecution.

Soldier F is being prosecuted for the murders of William McKinney and James Wray in Londonderry on 30 January 1972.

He also faces five charges of attempted murder on the same date.

The prosecution is due to restart at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Thirteen people were shot dead and at least 15 others injured when members of the Army’s Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in the Bogside, a predominantly Catholic part of Derry.

That day became known as Bloody Sunday.

It is widely regarded as one of the darkest days of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

  • What happened on Sunday 30 January 1972?

In July last year, it was announced by prosecutors that Soldier F would no longer face trial over charges relating to Bloody Sunday.

That decision followed the collapse of the trial in Belfast in May 2021 of two other veterans for Troubles-era offences.

In March this year, the High Court in Belfast overruled prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges against Soldier F.

The court then also rejected the PPS’s bid to have its appeal referred to the UK Supreme Court.

The PPS subsequently reviewed its position and then announced its decided to resume the prosecution on Thursday.

Mickey McKinney, the brother of William McKinney, said he was “very pleased” that the case against Soldier F would start again.

Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle, he said it was great to see “the case starting to move again”.

“It’s a matter of waiting to see now,” he said.

“We will await the timetable and we need to get through the committal and just see what happens.”

Colum Eastwood, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader and MP for Foyle, said his thoughts were with all of the families of those who were killed on Bloody Sunday.

He said it was “bitterly disappointing that this case has been subject to such long delays”.

PPS deputy director Michael Agnew said he was “very conscious of the upset caused” to the families after the decision to withdraw the proceedings against Soldier F last year.

“It is our role to keep under review the evidence presented in every case,” he said.

“This case has presented difficult and complex legal issues for prosecutors, as was acknowledged by the divisional court.

“The PPS is committed to progressing court proceedings against Soldier F without any further delay.”

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