Tuesday 21 November 2017

May in attack on Troubles probe

British Prime Minister Theresa. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville
British Prime Minister Theresa. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville

Robert Mendick

British Prime Minister Theresa May has criticised the investigations into hundreds of soldiers over killings during the Troubles as "unbalanced".

Mrs May has sent a letter of support to veterans who believe they are being unfairly targeted.

In her letter, she wrote: "The UK government is concerned that the whole system of addressing the past in Northern Ireland is unbalanced and is not working well in anyone's interests."

She said the "overwhelming majority of deaths caused by soldiers and police officers will have been lawful", adding: "It is essential that investigations into the past do not unfairly treat soldiers and police officers".

The two-page letter was sent to veterans' groups last week in response to a protest in January that saw about 1,000 former soldiers march to the gates of Downing Street.

It is claimed a Police Service of Northern Ireland investigation into so-called legacy killings could be examining more than 300 deaths involving as many as 1,000 soldiers.

Mrs May said in her letter that she wanted new institutions to be established in Northern Ireland that would "ensure that the focus of the investigations will be much more on the hundreds of unsolved murders committed by terrorists, including many unsolved murders of soldiers and police".

New institutions - which were agreed in 2014 but have still to be set up due to the political stalemate in Stormont - would look at murders during the Troubles in chronological order rather than seemingly focusing on those involving troops.

Irish Independent

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