Farry says thoughts with families after decision for soldiers to not face trial

Alliance MP Stephen Farry has said his thoughts are with the families of victims, after it was announced two Army veterans facing murder charges from incidents in the 1970s would not face trial.

The cases involve individuals known as Soldier B and Soldier F, who were to be prosecuted over the deaths of Daniel Hegarty, a 15-year-old shot dead in Derry in July 1972, and the deaths of James Wray and William McKinney on Bloody Sunday respectively. Soldier F was also facing five counts of attempted murder.

“In the first instance, my thoughts are with the families of these victims, who are once again facing a hugely painful and distressing day in their long pursuit of justice,” said North Down MP Dr Farry.

“While the PPS has concluded there was no reasonable prospect of the evidence in the cases being ruled as admissible, that will in no way ease the emotions being felt by those families and the wider community. Of course their right to a judicial review of this decision remains available to them.

“Although we have to respect the decision made in a number of cases today, clearly flaws were evident in the past relating to Ministry of Defence investigations. Those mistakes continue to haunt the justice process in the present.

“This once again highlights the need for a comprehensive mechanism to deal with the legacy of the past. The Stormont House Agreement remains the best vehicle for that and while for many, given the passing of years and inadmissibility of certain evidence, justice may not be possible, everyone deserves the ability to pursue it and the truth about what happened to their loved ones.”