Police probing the Bloody Sunday shootings should not restrict their interviews to the soldiers involved, Gregory Campbell has said.
The East Londonderry MP said it is important that a proper investigation is carried out – even though the passage of time hampered evidence gathering – but said that no one should be beyond the reach of the law.
I want to hear from the police if they plan on questioning Martin McGuinnessGregory Campbell - East Londonderry MP
He was responding to news that seven of the soldiers who killed 13 civil rights demonstrators in January 1972 are to be formally interviewed.
A fourteenth man was to later die from his wounds.
On Thursday night Mr Campbell said: “If the police are now about to question people who were actively involved in and around the time of Bloody Sunday, then the question that immediately comes to the minds of most people is ‘who else are they going to question?’ The same Bloody Sunday [Saville] report said that Martin McGuinness probably had a Thompson sub-machine gun, so I want to hear from the police if they plan on questioning Martin McGuinness as well, or is it only the soldiers they are going to question.”
Mr Campbell added: “If there is any evidence I would say that the police, no matter how long has passed, should pursue it, but I strongly suspect that this isn’t a case of the police having a very specific line of evidence: this is a case of trying to get this off the books. They are going to be speaking to them about an event that happened 43 years ago, and how they would expect to get evidence sufficient to allow the prosecution service to build a case is beyond the understanding of most people.”
PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison has met victims’ families to update them on the progress of their investigation, and said that 34 military and 310 civilian witness statements have been recorded.
A police spokesman said: “He also told the families that seven military witnesses would be interviewed over the coming months, along with 10 civilian witnesses. DCI Harrison reiterated the fact this is a long, complex and protracted investigation but that he remained committed to keeping the families informed of progress as appropriate.”
Bloody Sunday has been described as one of the catalysts of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, which left more than 3,000 dead and many others injured.
Civil rights demonstrators seeking one man one vote and other concessions from the unionist-dominated government of Northern Ireland had gathered for a march in Londonderry.