Madden & Finucane represent the families of those murdered on Bloody Sunday and many of the wounded.
We have written to the senior police officer in charge of the murder investigation concerning the inordinate delay in proceeding to arrest and question those suspected of the murders and attempted murders on that day.
Peter Madden said:
“There is now a crisis in confidence concerning the profound delay in bringing those responsible to justice.
“Whilst Lord Saville may have delivered the truth, the mere declaration of innocence is insufficient to satisfy the rule of law.
“With truth must come justice, but justice delayed is justice denied”.
The text of Peter Madden’s letter to Detective Chief Inspector Harrison is set out below:
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison
Police Service of Northern Ireland
Legacy Investigations Branch
Dear DCI Harrison
BLOODY SUNDAY MURDER INVESTIGATION
We refer to the above.
As you will recall you met with myself and two other solicitors from Madden & Finucane and with Bloody Sunday relatives and campaigners Mickey McKinney and John Kelly at PSNI Maydown on 23 January 2015.
The purpose of that meeting was for you to advise us of the work that the LIB team would be undertaking in order to progress the resumed murder investigation into the events of Bloody Sunday and to see it through to a successful conclusion.
Since that meeting we have heard nothing further from the PSNI and are entirely unaware of what progress, if any, has been made.
We do not know whether the dedicated staffing levels described at the meeting on 23 January remain or if your team has been weakened or strengthened.
We presume that there has been no move to interview any of those suspected of murdering or attempting to murder the victims and wounded of Bloody Sunday as we have not been advised that any such interviews have taken place, nor have there been any media reports to that effect.
We are however aware that attempts have been made by police to trace civilian witnesses, who with the greatest of respect to them, are not likely to assist in progressing a murder investigation. Indeed some of the witnesses police have recently attempted to trace did not make witness statements either in 1972 or for the purposes of Lord Saville’s Inquiry. This fact is all the more surprising in circumstances where the number of civilian witnesses that your team had intended to interview had been revised downwards from that initially anticipated.
You may recollect that I stated bluntly to you at the above meeting that there appeared to be a general public perception that police were reluctant to arrest and question soldiers as murder suspects. Regrettably, as we fast approach the fifth anniversary of the delivery of Lord Saville’s report, it seems that little has occurred in the interim to alleviate those public concerns and those that we represent are rapidly losing faith in the PSNI’s ability to see their task through.
As you are aware, this firm brought judicial review proceedings on behalf of twenty of our clients following the suspension of the murder investigation in October 2014. The lodging of those proceedings prompted the fresh investigation and the judicial review remains adjourned before the High Court.
In the circumstances we consider it appropriate that you set out a full written progress report within the next fourteen days and that you then convene a further meeting as a matter of urgency in order to comprehensively update us as to the progress of the investigation and to address our concerns.
We await hearing from you.
Madden & Finucane