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Paras to be charged with Bloody Sunday Offences

Discussion in 'Military News and Clips' started by rkec, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I'll speculate that ballistic forensic evidence coupled with evidence gathered immediately after the incident will be a major factor in the prosecution case. Not forgetting the accumulated inquiry evidence dating from the Widgery Report in April 1972 to the present day.

    All rounds issued to individuals on patrol must be accounted for. Service personnel who fired even one round in NI would have investigators over them like a rash. He would be required to explain in precise detail the circumstances under which that round was fired. Witness statements would also be taken. Apparently 'Soldier F' fired numerous rounds on the day.

    It should be noted that the terrorist and criminal groups active in NI did not keep meticulous records of their own actions.

    The Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland is the prosecuting authority.
     
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  2. rkec

    rkec New Member

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    If he denies firing then that is one thing that can be disproved through ballistics as those facts most likely wouldn't have changed or been disputed in 40 years. But context of why he fired will never be able to be proved. His mental state at the time, will never be able to be proved fairly. Even if he went round the barracks bragging about it at the time (no evidence he did off course), bravado to cover his pain or genuine hatred for the people he shot? How can one judge now whether or not he genuinely feared for his life and that of his colleagues?

    I'm not against putting soldiers on trial, but this has zero chance of a fair trial after all this time and the politicians must know this. In any fair court, this would be thrown out and I'd say the same if it was an IRA guy accused in similar circumstances. Prosecute them at the time, or as soon as the evidence becomes apparent but 40 years on is not acceptable.

    This is just a PR stunt for some yet unknown reason.

    Is there any reason why it is not a Court Martial like Marine A?
     
  3. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Three reasons I can think of:

    1. 'Marine A' was a serving rank deployed on operations. He was prosecuted as a serving rank. 'Soldier F' was a L/Cpl in 1972 and has been a civilian for several decades.

    2. The offences allegedly committed by 'Soldier F' took place in the UK and there is no compelling argument that would give the Service Prosecuting Authority precedence over a civilian prosecuting authority.

    3. Public confidence, particularly in NI. The MoD might itself be cited as being complicit in how this alleged offence has been handled. 'Soldier F' will almost certainly have been briefed by the head-shed since 1972 about what to say and what to remain silent about.
     
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  4. rkec

    rkec New Member

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    I was under the impression that at least one of the others on trial with Marine A (Marines B and / or C) were also at that time civilians, and had been civilians at the time they were charged.

    I've just looked it up. You are right, sort of, up until 2006 but it has since changed

    "1.4. Section 42 of the 2006 Act extended the jurisdiction of the Court_ Martial, which formerly could not deal with certain criminal offences such as murder, manslaughter and rape (if committed in the United Kingdom) but now has jurisdiction to do so."

    That begs a question whether or not he should be tried under current rules or pre 2006 and have access to a Court Martial or Civilian system. New rules say that the Director or Public Prosecutions would decide.

    Very little chance of getting a fair jury out there (either way).
     
  5. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    The DPP in NI is Stephen Herron who announced yesterday that 'Soldier F' is to be charged. NI justice matters were devolved some years ago.
    But regardless of the historic date of the alleged offences and changes to diverse Acts over four decades the public confidence issue will be a big factor. Just my speculation though.
     
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