Sinn Féin: Johnson’s Troubles troops vow “offensive”

Posted By: July 13, 2019

Allison Morris. Irish News. Belfast. Saturday, July 13, 2019

TORY leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson’s pledge to end “unfair trials” of former British soldiers who served in Northern Ireland has been criticized as “highly offensive” by Sinn Féin.

In The Sun, Mr. Johnson said: “We need to end unfair trials of people who served their queen and country when no new evidence has been produced and when the accusations have already been exhaustively questioned in court.

“We must protect people against unfair prosecutions. And I will.”

Among those facing prosecution over Troubles deaths is Soldier F, charged in relation to the killings of two people on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972.

The Public Prosecution Service announced in March that there was enough evidence to prosecute him for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney.

Soldier F is also charged with the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon, and Patrick O’Donnell.

Thirteen people were shot dead at the civil rights march on January 30, 1972.

A statute of limitations amnesty is popular with a significant cohort of MPs in the Conservative Party who have been calling for the move.

However, Sinn Féin legacy spokeswoman Linda Dillon said the suggestion is “highly offensive” to victims of the conflict killed by state forces or as a result of collusion with loyalists.

“This campaign is an attempt at putting British state forces who killed Irish citizens above the law,” she said.

Last week the NIO revealed that its consultation exercise showed a “clear majority” of respondents felt an amnesty for Troubles-related matters would be inappropriate.

Legal experts have previously indicated that any amnesty would have to apply across the board and include former members of both loyalist and republican paramilitary groups.