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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 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 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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  6. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-47829118


    Anyone else’s blood boil when the main reason they are culpable for it is “no adequate warning”.

    How about not bloody doing it in the first place with or without an Effin warning!
     
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  7. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    A clip from TPA's link above:

    "There was a dramatic twist towards the end of evidence at the inquests, when a former IRA member named the four the men he claimed were involved in the bombings as Seamus McLoughlin, Mick Murray, Michael Hayes and James Francis Gavin.

    The man, identified in court only as "Witness O", said he had been authorised to give those names by the current head of the IRA in Dublin.
    "

    As none of the above persons are alive some might consider this to be a politically astute move. :(

    https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/pictured-four-ira-men-named-16014161
     
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  8. rkec

    rkec Member

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    I think Michael Hayes is still going, but I think he has one of those comfort letters where Blair promised not to prosecute. Without that comfort letter he said the IRA wouldn't have given him permission to give evidence. Materially you are right, evidence was only given because nobody would be prosecuted.

    For what it's worth, I'm not sure that Michael Hayes chap is finding what he did easy to live with. Not only did people die, but 6 innocent Irish lads went to prison for 20 years.

    BBC news, "people died because of a error with a coded warning." -banghead-
     
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  9. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    It’s always the same. The kings move the peices, far removed from it. And it’s he pawns that take the fall.
     
  10. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    Aye, funny that.
     
  11. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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  12. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    Off on a tangent but equally another possible upcoming prosecution surrounds the infamous Stakeknife case.

    He was the highest ranking IRA informant. A colleague of mine was his long term handler in 14 Int/SRR - a RM WO1 at the time.

    This is again another example where civilian sensibilities are applied in a military environment and it just doesn't work, as proven with Marine A.

    During WW2, particularly in the case of Enigma Naval Code-breaking - Tactical enemy actions had to be allowed to take place, with a significant loss of allied lives, to safeguard the fact we could intercept the more important strategic issues.

    In plain language, the UK War Department knowingly sent British & Allied service personnel to their deaths...but we never saw a politician tried for murder. Funny that.

    Stakeknife: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46598765
     
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  13. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I think that as s a nation we all tacitly accept that deeply unpleasant events are sanctioned in our name. When depicted in fiction (thinking James Bond, here) people cheer when a villain is extrajudicially murdered.

    Many of us—myself included, if I'm honest—exist in a cosy bubble in which we don't want to think too hard about what others have to do in order to keep us safe.
     
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  14. Atlas10

    Atlas10 Member

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    ignorance is bliss.
     
  15. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Agreed. As long as we as a society are adult enough to accept that unpleasant actions are undertaken on our behalf and that we don't throw others under the bus for doing them.
     
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  16. Atlas10

    Atlas10 Member

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    yup. And direct the sudden mob outrage, as if we didn't know things were going on, at the perpetrators instead of the preventors????