The case of the former soldier charged with murdering two men on Bloody Sunday is to have its first hearing in Derry in September.
In a letter to the relatives of William McKinney, which has been seen by The Irish Times, the North's Public Prosecution Service (PPS) confirmed that the first listing of the case involving Soldier F is scheduled for 18th September in the city's Magistrates' Court.
'Soldier F' is to face charges of murdering two men, William McKinney and James Wray, and attempting to murder four others.
Thirteen people were killed when members of the British army’s Parachute regiment opened fire on anti-internment marchers in Derry on January 30th, 1972. A 14th died later.
In the letter, a senior public prosecutor said police had recently provided the outstanding material required to finalise the court papers.
The prosecutor explained that the first listing of the case will be for a committal hearing, which will enable the case to be transferred to the Crown Court, where any trial will take place.
It is not clear whether Soldier F will attend.
According to the PPS, the defence is “entitled to challenge the case at committal stage”.
“If the case is going to be challenged then it will not proceed to a full committal hearing at the first hearing — rather it will adjourn for arrangements to be made for the full hearing.”
“An accused must attend court in person for a committal hearing, but if the case is not proceeding as a committal hearing at the first listing (ie. if it is going to be challenged) then it is unlikely that the accused will attend in person on 18th September.
“In law it is sufficient for his legal representatives to attend on his behalf.”
Papers are expected to be served on the defence shortly.