Bloody Sunday - Soldier F hearing in Derry: legal proceedings adjourned

The legal proceedings against Soldier F have been adjourned until December.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 8:51 am
Jim Wray and William McKinney

Soldier F was not present for the brief hearing at Derry Magistrate's Court.

He was not required to attend as his legal representatives were in attendance.

Soldier F is accused of the murder of James Wray and William McKinney on January 30, 1972.

Jim Wray and William McKinney

He is further accused of the attempted murder of Joseph Friel, Joseph Mahon, Michael Quinn and Patrick O'Donnell on Bloody Sunday.

A further charge, which was not announced by the PPS earlier this year, accuses Soldier F of the attempted murder of a person or persons unknown.

A prosecutor told the court that papers had been served on Soldier F's legal representatives in August and that the prosecution case was 'ready to proceed'.

Defence counsel Mark Mulholland QC applied for the case to be adjourned as these papers are currently under consideration by the defence.

Relatives of William McKinney and James Wray are joined by other relatives as they make their way to the courthouse this morning.

He said the case would require a mixed committal hearing, where evidence and witnesses will be called.

It is expected such a hearing may take a couple of weeks, depending on how many witnesses are required.

Mr Mulholland requested the adjournment until December 4 to establish a timetable for the committal hearing and witness availability.

The barrister also applied for his client to retain his cipher and for him to be excused from attending court until the committal hearing is ready to proceed.

District Judge Barney McElholm granted the adjournment application so that the defence can 'fully consider the voluminous papers in the case'.

He said: "I accept that will take some time and it is important all of this is done with a degree of fairness to all concerned."

He also granted the application for Soldier F to retain his cipher.

Judge McElholm imposed an interim anonymity order which bans Soldier F's real identity from being disclosed in any fashion.

However, he said this will remain under review as there may be an application in relation to this at a later stage.