NI secretary James Brokenshire: Troubles inquiry ‘not working’-NewsCO

January 29, 2017

James BrokenshireImage copyright
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Image caption

Police are re-investigating all deaths during the Troubles

The Northern Ireland secretary of state has said inquiries into killings during the Troubles are “disproportionately” focused on the police and the army.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph James Brokenshire said it was “clear” that investigations into more than 3,500 deaths were “not working”.

Police are re-investigating all deaths from the Troubles.

A number of ex-soldiers are facing prosecution over killings carried out during the 30-year conflict.

‘Past rewritten’

Mr Brokenshire, who took the post last July, said: “It is also clear the current focus is disproportionately on those who worked for the state – former members of the Armed Forces and the RUC.”

He said the “vast majority” of police and the armed forces served “with great courage, professionalism and distinction”.

He added: “We are in danger of seeing the past rewritten.”

The Legacy Branch of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is re-investigating Army killings as part of a review into all deaths during the Troubles.

Image caption

A firebomb destroyed shops in Armagh in 1974

More than 3,500 people died between 1969 and 1998, of which 302 were killed by members of regular regiments of the British army.

London law firm Devonshire said it was representing between 10 and 15 former soldiers facing prosecution for a number of killings, including those on Bloody Sunday.

The firm said it been told there could be as many as 1,000 former soldiers facing prosecution.

Barra McGrory QC, the director of public prosecutions for NI, recently told the BBC a number of cases had been coming to court due to inquests and referrals from the Attorney General for Northern Ireland.

He said: “We have taken decisions in three army cases recently, one was not to prosecute and in the other two prosecutions have been initiated.”

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