Press Statement on behalf of the Bloody Sunday Families and Wounded

PPS Decisions to be made by 18th April in relation to Criminal Prosecutions for Parachute Regiment Perjury at Bloody Sunday Inquiry and Widgery Tribunals

Ciarán Shiels of Madden & Finucane Solicitors said today:

“The immunity afforded to former British Soldiers who committed criminal offences on 30th January 1972, was in the form of the Attorney General’s assurance against future prosecution for self-incrimination, should they wish to tell the truth about the murders and attempted murders, perjury and perverting the course of justice that they committed on their own account back in 1972.

“It was publicly justified at the time by the Saville Tribunal that a strong legal incentive was being offered to former soldiers from the most senior law officer in the State, as long as they told the Bloody Sunday Inquiry the truth, about the events of Bloody Sunday, they would face no prosecutions for their actions on the day or for providing untruthful and perjured evidence to the Widgery Tribunal in 1972. The Families and the Wounded whom Madden & Finucane represented made strong objections to this assurance being provided by the Attorney General to the military witnesses, given the extent of the massacre and ongoing cover-up which commenced in Rossville Street in the Bogside, but which quickly progressed to the highest levels of the British military and political establishment.

“However, almost without exception, all of the significant military witnesses ignored that opportunity and instead chose to systematically lie to Lord Saville about their own crimes and continued to cover up their own criminality throughout his Inquiry.

“Indeed, Lord Saville severely criticised them for it in his conclusions when they were finally presented to Parliament in June 2010.

“We will now await the PPS decisions as to whether or not prosecutions will be instituted against those military witnesses who lied under oath to the Bloody Sunday Tribunal from 2001-2004 but also to Lord Widgery in the Spring of 1972. We understand those decisions will be communicated to the victims and ourselves by 18th April and we have been in ongoing contact with the PPS in respect of this matter throughout yesterday.”