Long says any proposed statute of limitations an insult to security forces members who served honourably

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said any statute of limitations for soldiers who carried out illegal killings in the Troubles would be an insult to those members of the security forces who served honourably and within the law.

Mrs Long was speaking after Sinn Féin alleged, following a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May, a question on a possible statute of limitations for soldiers had been added to a Government consultation into the Stormont House Agreement.

She said the rule of law should apply to everyone equally.

“Justice and the rule of law cannot be adjusted to make people differently accountable for their actions. In all cases, we should follow the evidence to wherever that leads. Members of the armed forces should be treated exactly the same as anyone else in a similar situation.

“It would be an insult to all those members of the security forces who served honourably and within the rule of law throughout the Troubles to even suggest otherwise. However, Sinn Féin are not in a position to criticise over side deals, given the on-the-runs debacle, which only served to compound the hurt felt by victims of those given an amnesty, and saw some walk free from court as a result.

“Security forces were there to uphold the law but were also rightly subject to it. For the Government to attempt and change that narrative now suggests they were above the law, which is not acceptable.

“While Alliance supports the consultation into the legacy of the past, it should only stick to what is already contained in the Stormont House Agreement and not include any proposals or even exploratory questions around a statute of limitations for soldiers. Any move towards that could result in a gradual move to a general amnesty for all, which would utterly undermine the rule of law everywhere.”

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