Soldier F still not formally charged for Bloody Sunday deaths

Banners have appeared in some towns around Northern Ireland supporting Soldier F
Banners have appeared in some towns around Northern Ireland supporting Soldier F
Share this article

Soldier F, the former British paratrooper who is to be prosecuted for the murder of two men on Bloody Sunday, is still waiting to be formally charged.

It is now two months since the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) announced that the former soldier would be prosecuted in connection with the 1972 killings in Londonderry’s Bogside.

Soldier F, now aged 66, is due to appear in court accused of the murders of William McKinney and Jim Wray as well as the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell.

John Kelly, whose brother Michael, 17, was among those killed on Bloody Sunday, told the Derry Journal the delay in bringing the former soldier before a court is disheartening for the families.

He said: “The reality is that the families are really frustrated at the lack of progress in charging Soldier F. We feel that this should have been dealt with straight away and we would have presumed that the PPS would be fully prepared for that before announcing any charges.

“We do realise that this process needs to be done right, but we have waited 47 years already – please don’t make us wait any longer.

“We demand that the PPS make us aware of any timetable and the progress made so far in this case and we call for them to charge Solder F immediately.”

The PPS, however, insisted the case is making progress.

A spokesperson said: “After the decision to prosecute issued on March 14, 2019, the PPS provided detailed information to the Bloody Sunday families on the scale of the process involved and the estimated length of time required.

“Progress has been made on the process of preparing the large volume of court papers required before a summons can issue to Soldier F and this has been in accordance with the time frame provided in the last update to families. We will continue to keep families informed of progress in this regard.”

It is understood that court papers must be prepared to be “trial ready” before the former soldier can be summonsed to court. Only when he receives an official summons, do proceedings become active.