SAS soldiers who shot dead a man in Derry in 1984 will be ordered to give evidence at a fresh inquest.

Attorney General John Larkin has directed new hearings into the death of Danny Doherty and also the killing of Gerard Casey, by loyalists in 1989 because key documents were not given to the coroner at the time of the initial inquests.

Mr Doherty was shot dead by the SAS in the grounds of Gransha hospital on December 6 1984.

He was hit 19 times and forensic evidence suggested six shots were fired into his body as he lay on the ground.

The soldiers who shot him did not give evidence at the first inquest in 1986 but will be told to attend the new one.

Mr Casey was shot dead by loyalists as he slept at his home in Rasharkin, Co Antrim, on April 4 1989.

He had been arrested and held in Castlereagh holding centre several times since 1985.

There were allegations the RUC told him in 1988 that he would be shot and had colluded in his murder.

Mr Larkin’s decision comes after Madden & Finucane Solicitors brought successful legal challenges on behalf of the families of both men in 2007 following revelations the RUC had withheld documents from the coroner.

Fearghal Shiels, of Madden & Finucane, welcomed the attorney general’s decision.

“The soldiers who shot Danny Doherty … must now attend to give evidence and explain why 19 shots were fired at him … when he posed no threat, and again whilst he lay mortally wounded on the ground,” he said.

Mr Shiels also said Gerard Casey had been “subjected to an intense campaign of harassment by the RUC” and the withholding of key documents during the first inquest “may have had a significant impact … and might well have impacted on the jury’s verdict”.