September 18 set for Soldier F hearing in Derry

Thirteen people died on Bloody Sunday.  A fourteenth died later.
Thirteen people died on Bloody Sunday. A fourteenth died later.

The case of ‘Soldier F’, a former British soldier facing murder charges in connection with Bloody Sunday, is set to be heard in Derry in September, it’s been revealed.

The first listing of the case is scheduled to take place at Derry Courthouse on Wednesday, September 18.

The ex-paratrooper is to be charged with the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murder of four other people.

It’s understood official court papers are to be served on Soldier F “very shortly”.

In a letter to the family of William McKinney, the NI Public Prosecution Service (PPS) says the the first listing of the case will be for a “committal hearing” to be transferred to the crown court where any trial will take place.

The PPS says the defence is entitled to challenge the case at committal stage.

“If the case is going to be challenged”, the PPS reveals in its letter, “then it will not proceed to a full committal hearing at the first hearing - rather it will adjourn for arrangements to be made for the full hearing.”

The accused, says the PPS, must attend court in person for a committal hearing, but if the case is not proceeding as a committal hearing at the first listing - i.e. if it is going to be challenged - then it is unlikely the accused will attend in person on September 18.

In law, it is sufficient for his legal representatives to attend on his behalf.