New Bloody Sunday probe: More than 100 soldiers contacted

Thirteen people were shot dead by the British Army in Derry's Bogside on Bloody Sunday.

Thirteen people were shot dead by the British Army in Derry's Bogside on Bloody Sunday.

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The PSNI says it has contacted more than 100 soldiers as part of a new investigation into Bloody Sunday.

However, the detective leading the inquiry says the soldiers are not obliged to speak to police because they are being treated as witnesses and not suspects.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison spoke out after fresh criticism of the police investigation by some of the Bloody Sunday families.

Solicitor Peter Madden, who represents many of the families, said they were “losing faith” in the investigation because they had “heard nothing from the PSNI since a meeting in January and were entirely unaware of what progress had been made”.

Mr Madden said there was a presumption that there had “still been no move by the PSNI to interview any of the soldiers involved in the shootings” and that this added to a perception that police were “reluctant to arrest and question soldiers as murder suspects”.

Ian Harrison, from the PSNI’s Legacy Investigations Branch, has revealed that his team has completed its “civilian witness enquiries” and has made contact with more than 100 soldiers to “determine if they are willing to engage with us”.

“It should be noted that these soldiers are witnesses, not suspects, and are therefore not obliged to speak with us,” said DCI Harrison.

“The next stage of the investigation would be to interview those soldiers who are willing to engage with the enquiry team as witnesses.”

DCI Harrison said his team of officers was also carrying out a number of other enquiries in relation to the investigation which he described as a “long, complex and protracted”.

“I am content with the level of resources I have working on the investigation at this stage.

“If at any time further resources are required they will be made available to me.”

Peter Madden, meanwhile, is demanding another meeting between the police and the families he represents.

He has also asked DCI Harrison to set out a full written progress report within the next 14 days.