Eighteen British soldiers ‘may face Bloody Sunday charges’

Victim’s relative says North prosecutors are considering cases against servicemen

Prosecutors in the North are considering charging 18 British soldiers over involvement in the Bloody Sunday shootings, a relative of one of the victims has said.

Thirteen people died when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Derry in 1972.

A fourteenth victim died later.

John Kelly’s brother Michael was among those killed. He met prosecutors recently.


On Friday, he said: "The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is investigating 18 soldiers."

All those killed were later pronounced innocent by a public inquiry led by Lord Saville, and former British prime minister David Cameron has said the killings were unjustified and unjustifiable.

Mr Kelly was 23 when 17-year-old Michael died.

He still has a Mars bar his mother had bought for his brother.

“He never got a chance to eat the Mars bar,” Mr Kelly said.

Prosecution of soldiers who served during Northern Ireland's 30-year Troubles has attracted criticism in some quarters from those opposed to dragging elderly former servicemen through the courts.

However, Mr Kelly said nearly all the Bloody Sunday relatives supported prosecutions.

Investigation files

A PPS spokesman said: “Investigation files in relation to Bloody Sunday were passed to the PPS in December 2016 and are presently under active consideration.

“No prosecution decision has yet been taken in relation to these files and it is likely to be some time before any decision will issue.

“We have recently made contact with families to provide an update on progress and also to explain our role and some of the legal issues that require consideration in this case.”