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The ghost of Bloody Sunday haunts the British defense

(B2) The UK Ministry of Defense is currently considering ways to strengthen the legal protection of its soldiers serving in Northern Ireland in the last century.

A pending murder charge

It was the revelation that a former sergeant of the parachute regiment was accused of attempted murder for having injured perhaps two people during Bloody Sunday in Londonderry in 1972 (1) which sparked this outcry. “ We are currently in the process of consulting with new institutions to improve the current system and ensure that there is no unfair and disproportionate focus on former members of the armed forces and police “Said the Ministry of Defense.

An amnesty blocked by the protagonists of the conflict

The principle of a general amnesty had been mentioned. But it has so far been blocked by the two protagonists of the conflict: Sinn Fein wants British soldiers to be prosecuted for their action, while the Protestants of the DUP fear that this will allow impunity for former members of the 'IRA. Several conservative deputies were moved by this state of affairs, circulating an email, received daily Telegraph, which criticizes the Prime Minister for not having introduced a limitation period for former soldiers who are the subject of a criminal investigation.

Criminal investigation still ongoing

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) opened a murder investigation after the 2010 Saville report concluded that those killed or injured on Bloody Sunday were innocent. But this investigation is dragging on. It is highly sensitive, but also faces technical and legal difficulties, as Sir Hugh Orde, the former chief constable of the PSNI (from 2002 to 2009), confided to the Spotlight program of the with the BBC. " It is very clear that after 50 years, the chances of finding evidence that would allow a prosecutor to prosecute are extremely low.. "The odds are even" highly unlikely “, he judges.

(1) Soldiers from an army parachute regiment deployed to maintain order opened fire on civil rights demonstrators, killing 14 people (13 died during the demonstration, a fourteenth died later).

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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