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Former British Soldier To Be Prosecuted For 1972 'Bloody Sunday' Killings

Former British Soldier To Be Prosecuted For 1972 'Bloody Sunday' Killings

The families had gathered in the city's Bogside at around 9am this morning before marching to the Guildhall to hear the decision, while singing the Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome".

In a landmark decision, prosecutors in Northern Ireland said on Thursday that one elderly former soldier will face charges for murder and attempted murder over the events of January 30 1972.

"In these circumstances the evidence Test for Prosecution is not met".

Families of victims of Bloody Sunday, in which 13 unarmed protesters were killed in 1972, marched before the prosecutor's announced charges against a former British paratrooper.

"In respect of the other 18 suspects, including 16 former soldiers and two alleged Official IRA members, it has been concluded that the available evidence is insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction", he said. We wanted to meet with them personally to explain the prosecution decisions taken and to help them understand the reasons. The victims' families, as well as the British, Irish and United States governments, saw the findings as a step toward healing one of the biggest wounds left by the four-decade conflict in Northern Ireland that left 3700 people dead.

"There has been a level of expectation around the prosecution decisions in light of the findings of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry", he said.

He added: "I am mindful that it has been a long road for the families to reach this point and today will be another extremely hard day for many of them".

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Speaking before Thursday's announcement, John Kelly, said he was "hoping and praying" that the families will get news of prosecutions.

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry took 12 years and cost nearly £200 million ($390 million).

It followed a previous report into the Bloody Sunday killings which had largely exonerated the British soldiers.

Ciaran Shiels, the solicitor for several of the victims' families, said: "We are disappointed that not all of those responsible are to face trial". Today the fate of their killers was announced in that building.

Soldiers from the elite Parachute Regiment opened fire on Sunday, Jan. 30, 1972, during an unauthorised march in the Bogside, a nationalist area of Londonderry. English judge Mark Saville, who conducted the investigation, gave the ex-paratroopers broad protections from criminal charges and anonymity, citing the risk that they could be targeted with retaliation by IRA dissidents.

The victims' families have called for justice, while supporters of the soldiers say it is unfair for them to face charges decades after the events.

Following the publication of the Saville report in 2010, then prime minister David Cameron apologised for the Army's actions, branding them "unjustified and unjustifiable".


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