Bloody Sunday: Files on soldiers not yet passed to the PPS

Police have said that files in relation to soldiers present in Derry on Bloody Sunday have as yet not been passed to the Public Prisecution Service.
Police have said that files in relation to soldiers present in Derry on Bloody Sunday have as yet not been passed to the Public Prisecution Service.

The PSNI has informed a relative of two Bloody Sunday victims that it is not yet in a position to tell them when files into relation to the soldiers responsible for the killings will be passed to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

Whilst the interviews under caution of soldiers who were present in Derry on January 30, 1972 were completed last month, as yet no information in relation to those intreviews has been forwarded to the PPS.

Kate Nash’s brother William was shot dead on Bloody Sunday and her father Alex was wounded when he attempted to come to his son’s aid.

Having asked the PSNI about the progress in the PSNI murder investigation into Bloody Sunday, Kate Nash said this week she had received the following statement from the chief investigation officer Drew Harrison: “The investigation team requires a period of time to consider all matters and to prepare a final report to the PPS for consideration. Whilst officers have commenced the preparation of the report and early consultation has been held with PPS, given the complexity of these matters, I cannot specify the date for its completion or potential recommendations.

“It will however be my intention to attend to all matters as soon as reasonably practicable. Similarly on receipt of a police report, the PPS will require a period of time to consider and to consult with police.

“Appropriate resources have been allocated to the file preparation phase of the investigation in order that it can be completed as soon as possible.”

Responding to the PSNI update, Kate Nash told the ‘Journal’: “I am happy that the investigation has got to this point but of course I am concerned at how much longer it will take to complete.

“It’s been four years so far and the wait seems interminable. The PSNI told us at the start that it would perhaps take up to four years to complete, but we have already passed that time frame. The Bloody Sunday families have waited a very long time for justice and I feel it’s closer and within our grasp. I am calling on all our political representatives to back us now in this final push to realise the dream of being finally being able to lay our loved ones to rest.”

Last year a High Court ruling determined that seven former soldiers present on Bloody Sunday would not have to travel to Northern Ireland in order to be questioned. The court ruling came after the arrest and questioning of ‘Lance Corporal J’ in Antrim. That soldier is understood to have been questioned in relation to the shooting of both William and Alex Nash.

People Before Profit MLA, Eamonn McCann said: “The news that all the former British soldiers associated with Bloody Sunday have now been interviewed under caution marks another milestone on the long match towards the truth about the Derry massacre.

“The interviews with the surviving soldiers were completed last month. The Families shouldn’t have to hang on any longer. The PSNI had estimated that the current investigation would take four years. Four years have already passed.

“The PSNI team has had a preliminary consultation with the Public Prosecution Service in the last few weeks.. The next step will be for the PPS to look at the final report from the PSNI investigators and make a recommendation as to whether charges should be brought.

“The end of the Bloody Sunday saga may not be near, but it is at last in sight. Massive credit is due to all the Family members who fought so hard for so long, sometimes in face of political indifference.”