Dickson welcomes Secretary of State comments on statute of limitations

Alliance Justice spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has welcomed the Secretary of State saying she could not support a statute of limitations for soldiers who carried out illegal killings in the Troubles.Karen Bradley said she could not back such a move because it would have to be extended to former paramilitaries as well. Mr Dickson said any move would undermine the rule of law, as well as being an insult for those members of the security forces who served honourably.

“The law should apply to everyone equally – everyone should have access to justice and every crime should be investigated on its merits,” he said.

“Alliance has long said a statute of limitations for Troubles soldiers accused of illegal killings would not only contravene international law but be a slap in the face for the loved ones of victims, many of whom have still not received justice.

“In every case, the evidence should be followed, wherever it leads. We have already previously seen the reaction to the discovery of the on-the-runs scheme, which only added to the hurt suffered by victims. Such a statute would also be an insult to the great majority of security forces who upheld the rule of law in very difficult circumstances.

“The consultation into the Stormont House Agreement legacy proposals closes later this week and I would encourage all those still to contribute to do so. The Agreement does not contain a statute of limitations and to attempt to bring one would risk throwing the already limited progress made on victims’ issues away.”

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