Ford says any Troubles amnesty would undermine the rule of law

Alliance MLA David Ford has said any amnesty for either security forces accused of crimes in the Troubles or paramilitaries would undermine the rule of law.

The former Justice Minister was speaking after four MPs called for legislation providing an effective amnesty for anyone accused of crimes linked to the Troubles. It follows claims a question on a

statute of limitations for soldiers would be added to a Government consultation into the Stormont House Agreement.

“The four MPs, two Labour and two Conservative, correctly stated any such statute of limitations which only covered soldiers would fall foul of international law. However, even widening it out to include paramilitaries would still result in the same issues.

“An amnesty would not only contravene international law but would be a slap in the face to victims, many of whom still remain without justice. We have already seen the reaction to the discovery of the on-the-runs scheme, which only added to the hurt suffered by victims. Such an amnesty would also be an insult to the great majority of police officers and soldiers who upheld the rule of law in very difficult circumstances.

“Alliance fully supports the consultation into the legacy of the past but we remain quite clear it should stick to what is already contained in the Stormont House Agreement. Anything further, particularly around statute of limitations, risks throwing the already limited progress made on victims’ issues away.”

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