Bloody Sunday: 'Soldier F' murder case reopened

·3-min read
Bloody Sunday: Prosecution reopen murder case against 'Soldier F' - Charles McQuillan /Getty Images Europe
Bloody Sunday: Prosecution reopen murder case against 'Soldier F' - Charles McQuillan /Getty Images Europe

The discontinued prosecution of a military veteran known as Soldier F for two murders and several attempted murders on Bloody Sunday in Londonderry in 1972 is to resume, Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service has announced.

Soldier F is facing two counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.

Earlier this year, the High Court in Belfast overruled a decision by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to drop charges against the former paratrooper.

And earlier this month, the court rejected the PPS's bid to have its appeal referred to the UK Supreme Court.

The PPS has now reviewed its position and has decided to resume the prosecution.

The PPS announced last year it was halting the prosecution of Soldier F for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney amid concerns the case could collapse in light of a separate court ruling on the admissibility of evidence which caused the collapse of another Troubles murder trial involving two military veterans.

Bloody Sunday: Prosecution reopen murder case against 'Soldier F' - Bloody Sunday Trust /PA
Bloody Sunday: Prosecution reopen murder case against 'Soldier F' - Bloody Sunday Trust /PA

The McKinney family then successfully challenged the original decision by prosecutors by way of judicial review.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Michael Agnew said: "The judgment delivered by the Divisional Court in March 2022 has been carefully examined and a fresh review of this case carried out.

"It has been concluded that, in order to give effect to the Divisional Court judgment, the original decision to prosecute Soldier F should stand.

"Therefore, the committal proceedings that were put on hold should now proceed.

"The PPS has written to representatives of the families and victims directly involved in the prosecution of Soldier F to confirm this decision.

"We have offered to meet with the families to answer any questions they may have and to outline the next steps to be taken to progress the case. Soldier F's legal representatives have also been informed.

"I am very conscious of the upset caused to the Bloody Sunday families by the PPS decision to withdraw proceedings against Soldier F last year. It is our role to keep under review the evidence presented in every case.

"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."

Bloody Sunday: Prosecution reopen murder case against 'Soldier F' - Geoff Pugh/Telegraph
Bloody Sunday: Prosecution reopen murder case against 'Soldier F' - Geoff Pugh/Telegraph

Lawyers for the McKinney family said they had been informed that proceedings would resume next week.

Mickey McKinney, brother of William McKinney, said: "We are delighted that the prosecution of Soldier F will resume next week.

"We hope that the PPS secure an early date for the resumption of the committal proceedings and that Soldier F is returned for trial to the Crown Court without further delay.

"We hope to meet with the PPS to discuss the future progress of the case in the coming weeks."