Jim Allister: Prosecutors should reflect on how they are handling legacy after verdict in trial of veterans

A statement from Jim Allister QC:

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 6:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 6:32 am
Former Minister for Veterans Johnny Mercer (right) fist bumps a supporter outside Laganside Court in Belfast after the trial against two veterans for the murder of Joe McCann in 1972 collapsed. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

I welcome yesterday’s decision in the trial of two veterans but regret that it took so long to get to this point.

It should have been clear to prosecutors from the outset that this would be the outcome. The evidence was obviously flawed.

Once again the PPS face serious questions about their zeal to go after those who served in the security forces while those who went out with the intent to murder seldom appear before the courts. Whatever the circumstances of his death there is no dispute about the fact that Mr McCann was a member of a proscribed terrorist organisation.

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Letter to the editor

Many innocent victims of terrorists have never seen anyone accused of the murder of their loved one stand before the courts. Such double standards do nothing to build confidence in everyone being equal under the law and equally subject to the law.

The ruling should cause the PPS to reflect on how they are dealing with legacy cases.

Jim Allister, QC, MLA

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