In a ruling delivered today by Lord Saville, the Bloody Sunday Tribunal has granted an application by 20 former and currently serving RUC/PSNI members that they give their evidence to the Inquiry whilst screened from the public and the families.
The result of this ruling is that only the Tribunal, the lawyers for the families and the lawyers for the other interested parties will be able to see over 20 police witnesses giving their account of what they saw and heard on Bloody Sunday.
One special branch officer, Mr William Hunter, has already given evidence from behind a screen.
Speaking on behalf of Madden & Finucane, Kieran Rainey said:
“We are disappointed that police officers sworn to serve the public seek to have the public blindfolded in what is supposed to be an open and fair public inquiry.
Our clients fear that the Tribunal’s blanket grant of screening to RUC/PSNI witnesses may prove to be a spur for similar applications by the soldiers, who have been careful to reserve their position on the matter.
Each decision on anonymity, venue and screening further erodes the open and public nature of the Inquiry”.