Thursday 24 October 2019

Bloody Sunday: Soldier F case adjourned until December following first hearing

Members from the Wray and McKinney families and supporters walking to Derry Magistrates' Court. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Members from the Wray and McKinney families and supporters walking to Derry Magistrates' Court. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Proceedings have been adjourned until December in the case of Soldier F after the first hearing took place in Derry today.

Soldier F did not appear in court and was instead represented by his legal team.

At the brief hearing, Mark Mulholland QC, representing the former paratrooper, confirmed he would be challenging the attempt to send him to Crown Court trial by calling witnesses at a mixed committal hearing.

Judge Barney McElholm, presiding at the Magistrate's Court in the city, granted an interim anonymity order to continue the protection of the accused's identity.

The decision to prosecute the ex-paratrooper was announced by the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service in March.

Soldier F faces five attempted murder charges in relation to the shootings in Londonderry on January 30 1972.

Bloody Sunday became one of the most notorious incidents of the Northern Ireland Troubles when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a crowd of civil rights demonstrators, killing 13.

Soldier F is accused of murdering James Wray and William McKinney.

Victims: Soldier F is accused of murdering James Wray and William McKinney
Victims: Soldier F is accused of murdering James Wray and William McKinney

He also stands accused of the attempted murders of Patrick O’Donnell, Joseph Friel, Joe Mahon and Michael Quinn. He faces a seventh supporting charge of the attempted murder of a person or persons unknown on the day.

Speaking before the hearing opened, a lawyer for some of the families of the victims said they were not happy with the fact that the soldier, referred to in documents as "Soldier F" has been granted anonymity.

"We intend to make submissions to the public prosecution service that 'Soldier F' is prosecuted in a transparent manner as consistent with the majority of the prosecutions of soldiers in respect of the murder and attempted murder of Irish civilians here," Ciaran Shiels from Madden Finucane solicitors told journalists outside the court.

Belfast Telegraph

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