After “closure,” the reopening of Bloody Sunday for at least four more years

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In a statement, police said that for the investigation to be as “comprehensive and effective” as possible, they would be asking witnesses who gave evidence to the Saville inquiry to make statements to detectives.

“This is because police are precluded from using Saville testimony in a criminal investigation. Details on how this process will be facilitated will be made available in the near future,” the statement said

Press Release from Madden & Finucane Solicitors regarding Bloody Sunday Inquiry Report 31 January 2011

Our submissions have also been forwarded to the Crown Prosecution Service in England in respect of the perjury committed by the soldiers when giving their evidence to the Tribunal whilst in London

 

 

 

 

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  • Ruarai

    Brian,

    do you agree that there ought to be criminal consequences for Bloody Sunday?

    (It’s not clear to me from your post but it’s tone is hardly enthusiastic.)

  • BarneyT

    When terrorists
    evolutionaries\defence forces commit an act, the state pigeon-holes it into criminal activity regardless of the motive and generally pursue it as a crime.

    When the state or state representatives commit an act, it has to be treated differently and cannot be dismissed as tit for tat due to the standards the state claims to set. I apply the Finiuncane case here too. Those that colluded need to be pushed and the soldiers and those that armed them and gave orders need to be named, examined, given a fair trial and if need be imprisoned.

    I too would be interested in seeing the response to Ruarai

  • Brian Walker

    Ruarai,

  • BarneyT

    Patrick Mercer said he is “confused” by the murder investigation into Bloody Sunday

    A Conservative MP who served as a soldier in Northern Ireland has questioned the need for prosecutions in the Bloody Sunday killings….no sh1t sherlock

    he went one….

    “I see yet another inquiry. I see a huge amount of expense….I see police officers distracted from their job, particularly when things in Northern Ireland are becoming more difficult again….And I see a conclusion which frankly I feel has been already reached with the Prime Minister’s heartfelt apology to the families.”

    So if we kill and then say sorry, we can avoid punishment? I suppose it depends on who we are and how is being killed

    he also suggests that those to committed state murders should not face imprisonment due to the fact that “terrorists who have been found guilty of violent crimes, possibly murder, have been pardoned in the past…”

    So, he is condoning tit for tat and either endorsing the fact that it was a war or promoting the fact that it is ok for the state to resort to the same “terrorist” activities commited by the IRA.

    He is on dangerous ground here, as this cannot be couched as one faction against another but an attack on civil rights protesters.

    He asks, “how do we deal with anyone who is found guilty?”

    The same way we deal with a war criminal or any other person found guilty of murder, abuse or any other offense.

    Is this what slugger would call pavlovian?

  • Brian Walker

    Ruarai
    Fair question.

    To be honest I favoured a complete amnesty in 1998 as did sections of the British government when the government had maximum authority and sectional interests might have been overborne. But they baulked on political and article 2 grounds, the right to life, and the big moment passed. I believe an amnesty would have been in the interest of the community as a whole. It’s an agonisingly difficult subject but I come down in favour of a minimalist approach to dealing with the past, relying on HET narratives and new inquests with stronger powers to tell the story and such confessions as may yet emerge.

    I’ve no partisan or partial interest in favour of the army and the police. But whataboutery and the arguments about “one sided justice” will revive and be prolonged. A partial narrative of British oppression in some cases and cover up in others will be boosted and the narrative about the IRA who killed far more than any other body will be the inevitable reply. But then hundreds of paramilitaries served long jail terms and the police and army got off very lightly.. and so on and so on..

    Aren’t people deeply weary of this by now? On the other hand, justice is individual and case by case.

    To answer your question directly, evidence of at least perjury laid out exhaustively in Savile seems compelling and should be pursued, if the families wish it.

    I wonder if charges of murder or manslaughter can be sustained after all these years? The outcome might be quite messy.

    Why do these things do so infernally long? I look forward to the investigations without enthusiasm and wonder if the families were given the right advice. They seemed so elated at the findings of “innocent” that it seemed closure was accepted. But second and third thoughts prevailed and carried the day. What happens if the prosecuting authorities decide that evidence is insufficient?

  • galloglaigh

    Mr Mercer is probably afraid of a precedent being set. He may know something he doesn’t want to, or admit to, and could be worrying about future cases which would involve himself and his motley crew of squadies?

  • BarneyT

    Indeed Galloglaigh. The British government (and her forces) cannot expect to receive leniency on this matter and they cannot be allowed to hide under the cover of “well look at the crimes the IRA committed”. It’s important that those responsible for the creation of the NI beast are shown to have done just that and share the responsibility for what ensued post Derry, and conversely, I am not excusing all IRA actions by asserting British forces (and their masters) bad deeds.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I don’t think this has been thought throught I was in favour of prosecutions in principle to begin with but was always under the impression that the inquiry was instead of them. If this was the intention then they should have skipped the inquiry and got straight down to it. As it is, any defendants will now argue that the inquiry has poisoned the well.

  • galloglaigh

    JS

    The inquiry cannot be used in the criminal investigation. The inquiry was to exonerate those murdered, and to vindicate the families’ case. The murder investigation is to seek out justice for those murdered, by prosecuting anyone guilty of murder, and and prosecuting anyone guilty of perjury.

    Perjury prosecutions should go as far up the chain of command as possible, with the removal of pensions, medals, and any other monetary or symbolic titles or deeds.

    The inquiry was the beginning of a process, and David Cameron suggested that in his Commons apology.

  • sonofstrongbow

    The Human Right of a fair trial will make any successful prosecutions difficult. No matter that the evidence produced at Saville cannot be used in the criminal court the fact that it is in the public domain will allow any defendants to claim their right to a fair trial has been breached.

    It is for this reason that public inquiries generally await the outcome of criminal prosecutions.

    The hypocrisy of nationalists in this matter is astounding. This process is exactly the type of investigation that they decry as ‘political policing’. As in McGeough v The World etc.

  • galloglaigh

    I think the problem with McGeough, is that his case doesn’t fall under the terms of the GFA. Then again, the same would apply to any convictions in this case, as like McGeough, they more than likely wouldn’t have served two years in a British or Irish prison. It could be a case of McGeough and the Paras v The World.

    That would be a sign of progress :)

  • Old Mortality

    And, of course, Madden & Finucane will be acting pro bono througout any proceedings.

  • galloglaigh

    OM

    Legal aid dude: Freebies from London :)

  • Brian Walker

    Barney T and others
    Justice was applied somewhat differently before the Human Rights Acts 1998 which applied the ECHR domestically and undoubtedly raised the bar and levelled the playing field. Prior to that,and applying precedent, the security forces upholding the State were given the benefit of the doubt against those rebelling against the State or otherwise committing politically inspired violence . Even though many verdicts are still regarded as correct, the trials would not stand up to human rights scrutiny today .

    The UK Criminal Cases Review CommissIon has required some convictions to be reviewed and some have been quashed as “unsafe” eg the cause celebre of Raymond McCartney. These have been pretty blatant cases and are not be taken as opening the floodgates. More will follow. But by and large the past is being regarded as the past and the great majority of cases are regarded as producing satisfactory results. Not all may agree but this is widely accepted.

    Should the servants of the state observe higher standards than ordinary citizens? It’s a false distinction. Clearly the citizen cannot be allowed to observe lesser standards. All have an equal duty to behave lawfully. No one had combatant rights. Paramilitaries can’t have it both ways and claim some sort “combatant” status in a “conflict” while at the same time demanding civil rights; nor can the State accord rebellious citizens lesser rights under the law. Security forces had extra duties, privileges and protection ( defined at various stages) which required them to act punctiliously according to rules like the yellow card. although it is recognised that they acted under pressure and made mistakes.

    Bloody Sunday clearly exceeded that description by a long way and Widgery stretched it beyond breaking point (although he heard plenty of evidence that warranted follow up).

    l

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    At the risk of being sanctioned under Godwin’s Law, we did not hang those underlings in Germany and Japan who did the murdering, we did it to those who ordered the killing (in general, although some other beasts got their just desserts). This will not happen under any circumstances for State crimes committed in N.I. In fact, some of the guilty got rewarded.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Had a chat with a final year law student from London University. He was saying his lecturer posed the question to them on the impending police inquiry into the events on that day.

    He was saying that any soldier who is charged and brought to court, their brief should ensure all the shinners/provos aka McGuinness, as whiteness, as they were there or there about that day.

    Now that will make interesting listening, that is if they are not facing charges as to their activities that day as well.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    sorry that should be witness.

  • arsetopple

    Happy new year AU

    No fan of the shinners but is that not what they want? A step on the way to a truth & reconciliation process. I wonder why the UUP/DUP are so opposed to it.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Probably the last thing they want. The IRA ‘commander’ along with others had their opportunity during Saville to produce a modicum of “truth & reconciliation”. They bypassed the offer.

    If nationalist terrorists cannot open up (no pun intended) for such an iconic nationalist totem as Bloody Sunday there’s little prospect of it ever happening.

    Although I may be wrong. Perhaps they’ve some theatrical truth-telling event planned for Derry’s year as UK City of Culture.

  • arsetopple

    So call their bluff:
    Unionists asking for a truth & reconciliation process which the shinners refuse to tolerate will make the unionists look good.

  • Alias

    “Unionists asking for a truth & reconciliation process which the shinners refuse to tolerate will make the unionists look good.”

    Yes, because the Shinners can’t wait for all the sordid details to come out and into the election litrature of competing political parties. Do you really think McGuinness wants to tell the voters about how he got down on his knees to Frank Hegarty’s mother and told her no harm would come to her boy, or how he persuaded Frank’s sister to drive him to meet his murderers? Indeed, do you think Marty wants folks to know why he was so keen to have Frank murdered before Frank would figure out why Marty appointed a known tout to the role of quartermaster in Derry? It’s lucky for those clowns that they’re a protected species…

  • sonofstrongbow

    Best to leave the desire to “look good” to nationalist propagandists.

  • Rory Carr

    I see that Son of Strongbow claims (erroneously) that, ” public inquiries generally await the outcome of criminal prosecutions”.

    How can it be, I wonder, that one with so adamant a claim to the workings of such inquiries can have missed that most riveting, most widely trumpeted legal inquiry this century so far ?

    Can he possibly have failed to notice that the Metropolitan Police, in the wake of revelations uncovered by the Leveson Inquiry, had, as Wikipedia succinctly reminds us, “On 23 July 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that charges would be brought against eight people in relation to phone hacking. According to press reports, the list of the eight individuals to be charged was as follows: Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Glenn Mulcaire, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup .”

    Lord Leveson will have every right to be disappointed to learn that his fame stops short at the Isle of Man while one Ms Rebekah Brooks (among others) would, if she had managed to catch SoS’s post, surely have muttered a silent but embittered, “If only…”.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    A first question for Marty will probably be, was he a senior member of the IRA in Londonderry that day and what was he doing? Did he have a Thompson sub machine gun that day, and what was he doing with it?

    Would that then open him up to prosecution as he has never been prosecuted for IRA membership or possession of a fire arm in Northern Ireland???

    He did serve time in the south in 1973. He was convicted by the republic of Ireland’s Special Criminal Court, after being caught with a car containing 250lb of explosives and nearly 5,000 rounds of ammunition.

    He and got six months, in court he declared his membership of the provisional IRA. he was later convicted again in the south for IRA membership.

  • sonofstrongbow

    In common with many of his other postings ‘Rory Carr’ completely misses the point.

    The charges brought by the Met were not as a result of “revelations uncovered” by Leveson. That is not publicly uncovered by the inquiry. To do so would obviously prejudice any prosecution. Leveson’s experience as a criminal court judge ensured that he knew the delicate situation his evidence gathering role placed him in. In this he was assisted by the focused Terms of Reference his inquiry operated under.

    Lord Justice Clarke who chaired the Marchioness Disaster Inquiry has written on the impropriety of using public inquiries as a “dry run” for civil or criminal proceedings. Prejudice was, as it probably was for Leveson, uppermost in his mind.

  • Rory Carr

    It remains however,SoS, (despite that mean little first sentence of yours, which tells more of your own character than anything of mine) an uncomfortable contradiction to your assertive claim that ” public inquiries generally await the outcome of criminal prosecutions”, that, in my chosen allusion to the Leveson Inquiry, many prominent actors in the area under enquiry now find themselves charged with criminal offences post Leveson.

    While this might not contradict Sos’s claim that public inquiries “generally” [my emphasis] await the outcome of criminal proceedings, neither does it strengthen that assertion; and in any case, we can surely welcome any precedent that the laying of post-Leveson criminal charges may have set for proceeding with criminal investigation and any subsequent charges that might be laid against the murderers of those innocent members of the public in Derry some 40 years ago.

  • BluesJazz

    “and any subsequent charges that might be laid against the murderers of those innocent members of the public in Derry some 40 years ago.”

    What ‘mudrerers’ are you talking about Rory Carr?

    No-one has been convicted of any murder on that day. Nor were all membersof the public ‘innocent’ as Saville concluded about the nail bomber.

    Do you think the US Soldiers who ‘murdered’ SS guards at Dachau should be charged? Eisenhower tore up their charge sheets.

    Gordon Kerr, Derek Wilford and Frank Kitson are sleeping easy tonight.
    I wish you the same.

  • sonofstrongbow

    So “erroneously” morphs into “might not contradict”? Which might be understandable given it occurred over two separate postings.

    However within the 12:24am posting paragraph one has an “uncomfortable contradiction” whilst paragraph two features a “might not contradict”.

    Oh dear.

    The “mean little first sentence” is commentary on your postings on this site. It says nothing of your “character”.

    Carr shoots! Misses! Again.

  • galloglaigh

    BJ

    No-one has been convicted of any murder on that day yet, and you can be rest assured that Wilford will not be sleeping easy in his Belgian home, as he was in charge of the murderous gang.

    And might I ask who the guilty nail bomber was? According to Saville and Cameron, all of those murdered by the Paras, were killed in an unjustified and unjustifiable manner.

    I take it you haven’t read the report?

  • Rory Carr

    Blues Jazz facetiously asks, “What ‘mudrerers’ are you talking about Rory Carr ? “, knowing damn well that I was referring to whomever was responsible for murdering 14 citizens on Bloody Sunday in Derry.

    He is however to be complimented for what is surely the most egregious (and most sickening) breach of Godwin’s Law ever perpetrated in the context of Troubles commentary. No resting on his laurels however for it can only be a matter of time surely before one of his like-minded compatriots outdoes him in the exercise of crassness.

    I am unable ro respond to Son of Sam’s main response to my previous post as I am unable to decipher any meaning therein but as to his “shooting” analogy, I can only but sigh. The search for meaning and clarity he may be able to reduce to a competitive sport. I choose not to.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Ah Rory lad you’ve now fully confused yourself. You can’t even get my name right.

    You apparently don’t read your own posts either before or after you’ve sent them but to play dumb now is a trifle pathetic. We both know why you can’t “respond” silly boy.

    However probably best to quit when you’re not too far behind. It’ll only get more embarrassing for you if you decide to go on. :)

  • Rory Carr

    Whatever. The PSNI have however announced their intention of pursuing a criminal investigation into the Bloody Sunday murders post- Savile whether or not you consider it appropriate.

    Console yourself with the thought that you “went down” to an “own goal” if it suits you to find comfort in that.

  • BluesJazz

    Rory
    Wilford has said he has nothing more to say…other than he was right. He did what was asked of him.
    Kitson is off doing voluntary work in South Africa and Kerr is military attache in Bejing.

    None has been accused of murder and they never will be. In fact all have since received gallantry medals galore.

    There is a rare possibility that some Lance Corporal will be interviewed. And if you think his superiors (or McGuinness) will be in a witness box in the next 4 years, you don’t know protocol.

    There’s more chance of Obama being arrested for the murder of Bin Laden.

  • BluesJazz
  • galloglaigh

    BJ

    Northern Irelandshire will be the first part of the UK, never mind the globe, where Mike Jackson (terrorist leader) could be in the dock. Don’t rule it out. Even if a few Lance Corporals are convicted, the big boys will be in the dock.

    Also, don’t forget that the jury will be the local peers of many of the families. It’s going to be a long process, but at least justice will have been served.

    I note you’ve tried to dodge questions from myself and others. No-one has been convicted of any murder on that day yet, and you can be rest assured that Wilford will not be sleeping easy in his Belgian home, as he was in charge of the murderous gang. It is a murder investigation, and the PPS/PSNI now seem to believe that a murder case has to be answered. Your sniping from your bunker, and hitting fresh air; the fresh air in your army brainwashed head.

    And might I ask who the guilty nail bomber was? According to Saville and Cameron, all of those murdered by the Paras, were killed in an unjustified and unjustifiable manner.

  • galloglaigh

    Wilford has said he has nothing more to say

    That’s not his call, that’s up to the prosecution. They believe that it was murder, hence the murder inquiry. Kitson et al should book their flights back to Northern Irelandshire soon, as it’ll save their wives money. It’ll be a hard slug for a prison widow, should her husband be forced into porridge in a few years time.

  • Dixie Elliott

    “Just for clarification, I and many of the families knew nothing about this meeting until the story appeared in the Derry Journal. ”

    Kate Nash ( whose brother William was killed on Bloody Sunday)

    It would appear that those family members who continue to march on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday have been blacklisted.

  • BluesJazz

    galloglaigh

    I suggest you look at the CV’s of Jackson, Kitson, Wilford and Kerr.
    Long and distinguished careers with a treasure trove of gallantry awards and medals. The elite of our society.
    If you think they’ll ever face a trial like common criminals such as McGuinness think again.
    The establishment don’t go in for that sort of thing. I’m sure they might find some deranged private who will say he was acting against express orders.
    Your logic would ultimately find Bush, Obama and Blair etc in the dock.
    Privates (or Lance Corporals) don’t do drone strikes.

  • BluesJazz
  • Kevsterino

    I think unjustified and unjustifiable deadly actions that were investigated at such cost, both financial and political, warrant prosecution of anyone who broke the laws and either killed people or got them killed.

    How much did it cost to investigate that atrocity? Then you find it unjustified and unjustifiable and prosecute nobody? It doesn’t make any sense.

  • galloglaigh

    BJ

    Shooting again from your bunker. Gallant men my ass. Terrorist leaders, just like Gerry Adams. And what do your two links prove, other than they are liars who are protecting murderers?

  • galloglaigh

    Indeed Kev, if they’d have done that 40 years ago, the Provos would have had less sympathy, and the murderers would’ve face trial as young men, without having to hide away in their latter years. I wonder how many of these gallant men will top themselves before any trail? Gallant my arse!

  • BluesJazz

    Yeah, our establishment are going to put their own on trial? As if they were common criminals? YoHo
    Some mentally ill private may get a trial.
    The people mentioned are untouchable. All they did was Regnum Defende. There’s more chance of Daniel Craig going on trial.
    Do you think they’ll bring Kerr back from Bejing?
    Get Real.

  • galloglaigh

    BJ

    While they are gallant men to you, there are likely tens of thousands worldwide who, like the people of Derry, see them as common criminals who, had they faced the courts in the ’70s, might not have ordered the murders of many other innocent victims worldwide.

    They will be in the dock, as they had a direct hand in the planning of the murderous operation, had a commanding role during the murderous operation, and who covered it up in the aftermath.

    Your establishment cannot block the PSNI investigation, nor will the SDLP and Sinn Fein be quiet on the matter.

    As Bob Dylan once wrote the times they are a changing and these men have what’s been coming to them for 40 years.

  • Rory Carr

    Courtesy of Mick Hall over at ORGANISED RAGE I re-post his report on the pending murder prosecutions of former members of the Pinochet regime miltary in the death of radical poet, singer/songwriter Victor Jara in 1973:
    ———————————————————————————————————————————-
    A Chilean judge has ordered the arrest of eight former members of Pinochet’s army for the murder in 1973 of singer and poet Victor Jara.

    At long last a Chilean judge has ordered the arrest of eight former Pinocet army lieutenants in connection with the 1973 murder of Victor Jara, the distinguished theatre director, poet, singer song-writer, political activist and member of the Chilean CP. Two were charged with murder, while six were said to be accomplices.

    Last Friday Judge Miguel Vazquez Plaza issued eight arrest warrants against the former soldiers at a court in the Chilean capital, Santiago.
    Almost four decades after the death of the prolific artist Jara, the country’s courts are finally seeking to bring some of the culprits to justice.

    “After bringing together many elements, there comes a time when one must end the investigation and try to move toward a resolution,” Judge Plaza told reporters.

    Chilean justice officials said in a statement that two men were charged with murder and the other six were thought to be accomplices. One suspect, Pedro Barrientos Nunez, lives in the USA; and although an international arrest warrant has been issued he may still be protected by the CIA.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    Perhaps the defendants might follow the advice of Blue Jazz and mount a plea of, what was it, Regnum Defnde? See how far they get with that.