The prosecution of Soldier F for murder and attempted murder on Bloody Sunday is to resume.
The North’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) confirmed on Thursday it had decided to continue with proceedings against Soldier F, which it had put on hold last year.
It follows the decision by senior judges in Belfast to refuse the PPS leave to appeal a ruling earlier this year quashing the decision to discontinue legal proceedings against Soldier F.
Mickey McKinney, the brother of William McKinney — one of two victims in relation to whom Soldier F faced a charge of murder — welcomed the decision and said he was “delighted” the prosecution of Soldier F was to recommence.
Belfast-based Madden and Finucane Solicitors said on Thursday prosecutors had confirmed the prosecution of the former member of the British army’s Parachute Regiment would resume on September 27th.
The Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Michael Agnew, said the judgment delivered by the Divisional Court in March 2022 had been “carefully examined and a fresh review of this case carried out.
“It has been concluded that, in order to give effect to the Divisional Court judgment, the original decision to prosecute Soldier F should stand.
“Therefore, the committal proceedings that were put on hold should now proceed,” he said.
Mr Agnew said the PPS has written to representatives of the families and victims directly involved in the prosecution of Soldier F and his legal representatives have also been informed.
He said he was “very conscious of the upset caused to the Bloody Sunday families by the PPS decision to withdraw proceedings against Soldier F last year” and it was “committed to progressing court proceedings against Soldier F without any further delay.”
Thirteen people were killed when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Derry on January 30th, 1972. Another of those wounded died later.
Following a police investigation the PPS announced it was to charge Soldier F with the murders of two of the victims, William McKinney and James Wray, and five counts of attempted murder on Bloody Sunday.
However, the case against him was reviewed following the collapse of separate criminal proceedings against two other military veterans for Troubles-era offences, and in July last year the PPS announced it was to discontinuing the prosecution.
This was challenged by the families, and in March this year High Court judges quashed the decision to drop the murder charges against Soldier F and directed the PPS to reconsider its determination.
At the time the case was suspended, the prosecution of Soldier F had reached committal stage at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court and the proceedings were part-heard.
The PPS said on Thursday it intended to reactivate the case on its next scheduled court date.