Two army veterans facing murder charges over three deaths during the Troubles in Northern Ireland will not face trial after prosecutors dropped the cases.
The two defendants known only as Soldier B and Soldier F had been charged over the deaths of James Wray and William McKinney during the Bloody Sunday shootings in 1972.
Soldier B was to be prosecuted for the murder of 15-year-old Daniel Hegarty, who was shot twice in the head in Londonderry six months later. He also faced a charge relating to the wounding of Hegarty’s cousin Christopher.
The families of the victims were informed of the decisions during meetings on Derry on Friday morning.
The dismissal comes after a review of evidence in the cases prompted by the collapse of the trial of two veterans accused of murdering Joe McCann, who was in the IRA. A court ruled that statements by Soldiers A and C, who were accused of murdering McCann in Belfast in 1972, were inadmissible and the pair were acquitted. The paratroopers are now in their 70s.
Unsurprisingly the decision to drop the cases was slammed by the relatives of those killed.
William McKinney’s brother Mickey said in a statement:
“The decision communicated today to the victims of Bloody Sunday represents another damning indictment of the British justice system. This issue is far from concluded. We will fight on.”