Prosecution of former soldier heard in court for first time

Prosecution of former soldier heard in court for first time

The prosecution of a former soldier accused of two murders on Bloody Sunday has reached court for the first time.
The case of Soldier F, who also faces five attempted murder charges in relation to the shootings in Londonderry on January 30 1972, was heard before a district judge in Derry Magistrates’ Court.
At the brief hearing on Wednesday morning, Mark Mulholland QC, representing the former paratrooper, confirmed he would be challenging the attempt to send him to Crown Court trial by calling witnesses at a mixed committal hearing.
The case was adjourned to December 4 to allow defence and prosecution to prepare for the committal proceedings.
District Judge Barney McElholm granted an interim anonymity order to continue the protection of the accused’s identity.
He said he accepted it would “take some time” before the committal could proceed.
“It’s important that this is all done with a degree of fairness to all concerned in these matters,” he said.
The decision to prosecute the ex-paratrooper was announced by the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service in March.
He was not required to attend court at this stage of the criminal proceedings and did not do so.
Bloody Sunday became one of the most notorious incidents of the Northern Ireland Troubles when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a crowd of civil rights demonstrators, killing 13.

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