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.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

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

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe

Editor