UK Government Plans Statute of Limitations to Block Northern Ireland Troubles Prosecutions

UK

More than 3,600 people suffered violent deaths during The Troubles – 30 years of sectarian strife in Northern Ireland, which was ended by the Good Friday Agreement. But in the last 20 years there have been repeated attempts to get to the bottom of who perpetrated certain atrocities and bring them to justice.

The Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has announced plans to introduce a statute of limitations which would effectively block the prosecution of soldiers for crimes committed during The Troubles.

It comes two weeks after the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland dropped charges against two retired British Army soldiers over incidents during The Troubles. One of them, Soldier F, was accused of murdering two unarmed men – James Wray and William McKinney – on Bloody Sunday in Londonderry in 1972.

​Unveiling the plan for a statute of limitations in Parliament on Wednesday, 14 July, Mr Lewis also said there would be a new independent body which would seek out the truth about deaths during The Troubles.

But he said it did not make sense for the Police Service of Northern Ireland to be investigating, as it is, 1,200 deaths some of them dating from more than 40 years ago.

Mr Lewis admitted it was a “hugely difficult and complex issue” but he said it was “​the best way to help Northern Ireland move further along the road to reconciliation.”

​The Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Louise Haigh…

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