Perjury prosecutions need no further investigation - victim

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dj news

A Bloody Sunday victim has criticised the latest delays in prosecuting those responsible.

Mickey Bridge has called for the soldiers of the Parachute Regiment to be held accountable for the murder of 14 people and wounding of another 13 in January 1972 and tried for contempt of court “immediately”.

Mr. Bridge said: “Prosecutions for perjury would not require a further four year investigation by police.

“Lord Saville had already accused the soldier witnesses of ‘knowingly putting forward false account’.”

Last week’s announcement of a possible four year long murder inquiry by the PSNI into the events of that fateful Sunday are, said Mr. Bridge: “Not an attempt to stall prosecutions but an attempt to stop them.

“What will take four years?

“We have already outlined the evidence to a judge, the PSNI said they need extra funding for the case but under the rules of the Inquiry the Director of Prosecutions is within his rights to prosecute for perjury.

“We do not need any further investigations for that.

“The PSNI announcement is just another set back for the campaigners.”

Mr. Bridge said: “The soldiers knowingly, deliberately and repeatedly lied to the Inquiry.

“While the soldiers were given immunity from prosecution, that was a safeguard against self-incriminating evidence, it does not stand if they lied and Lord Saville already stated he believes they lied.

“It is now up to the Attorney General to retract that immunity from prosecution from the soldiers.”

Mr. Bridge continued: “The soldiers knowingly committed a criminal offence in lying to the inquiry in London. If you or I committed perjury we would be hauled before the courts and prosecuted immediately but the English authorities wont prosecute in this instance.”

Initially there had been a delay as the prosecution service in London and Northern Ireland decided on jurisdiction.

Reacting to Mr. Bridge’s calls for legal action, the Crown Prosecution Service stated: “It is not unusual to await the outcome of a decision whether to prosecute an individual for more serious matters before deciding whether to bring a criminal case for less serious ones.

“This is particularly appropriate when there is a factual link between the more serious and the less serious matter.”

Michael Mansfield QC, who represented victims families, also called for charges to be brought against those soldiers accused of lying to Lord Saville at the time of the reports publication.