Bloody Sunday; witness breaks ranks

It looks like we’ve hit the most crucial witness in the Saville enquiry at the Guildhall in Derry. Rosie Cowan in the Guardian:

“He believed two soldiers in particular were responsible for triggering the shooting, and that between them they killed eight or 10 people. He did not see any civilians with guns or bombs and said there was no justification for a single shot he saw any soldier fire. But he claimed statements he gave to Royal Military Police and a lawyer for Lord Widgery’s 1972 tribunal were altered to show the army in a more favourable light. 027 was not called to give oral evidence to Widgery, who exonerated the soldiers and cast aspersions on the dead.”

David McKittrick, in the Independent:

“Scores of other soldiers are to testify that fire was opened only after troops came under heavy fire from IRA snipers and bombers in Londonderry in January 1972. The soldiers who actually opened fire will say they fired only aimed shots at identified targets during what was in effect a heavy firefight with the IRA.”

He goes on to point out:

“This picture of events has been generally contested by civilian witnesses. Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, who has admitted to the tribunal that he was second-in-command of the IRA in the city on Bloody Sunday, is to testify that the organisation’s members did not open fire.”

The Shamrockshire Eagle, has a contemporary account at the end of last month, scroll down to the bottom.

Update: FAQ on Saville, and more blogging at British Spin.