McCartney accuses DUP of breaching deal by backing British Army immunity bill

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Sinn Féin has accused the DUP of directly contravening the Stormont House Agreement by supporting a bid to protect British soldiers from prosecution.

Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney was speaking after DUP MPs Emma Pengelly and Jim Shannon agreed to present a Private Westminster bill, which would set a ten-year limit on court proceedings against current and former members of the British armed forces.

“This so-called ‘statute of limitations’ would rule out any prosecution of British soldiers for crimes committed during the conflict here,” he said.

“The decision of the DUP to support it is in direct contravention of the Stormont House Agreement which ruled out any amnesties and instead provided a range of mechanisms to deal with the past.

“During the Stormont House talks, the DUP were adamant that there could be no amnesty, yet now they are clearly seeking immunity for British forces alone.

“That is simply unacceptable. British forces were directly involved in state sponsored killings and also in a campaign of systemic collusion and state-sanctioned executions through surrogate unionist death squads,” said the Foyle MLA.

DUP MP Emma Pengelly said: “Those terrorists who went out with the intention of fear, murder and harm continue to benefit from special provisions while our Armed Forces who went out to maintain peace and protect citizens are now enduring historical investigations and persecution.

“This cannot be allowed to continue. This Bill will help to create a fairer context and help recognise the invaluable role and sacrifice of our Armed Forces in the defence of our people in Northern Ireland and across the world.”