Northern Ireland news

Soldier F will not appear at Derry court case in person

Soldier F is expected to be charged with the murder of Bloody Sunday victims, Jim Wray (left) and William McKinney (right).
Seamus McKinney

FORMER British paratrooper, Soldier F will not appear in person at Derry Magistrate’s Court next week in connection with plans to charge him with the murders of Bloody Sunday victims, Jim Wray and William McKinney.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) announced in July that Solder F was to appear at the Derry court to face the two murder charges as well as four attempted murder charges. The case was scheduled to commence at Bishop Street courthouse next Wednesday.

However, in a letter to relatives yesterday, the PPS confirmed the former soldier would not now appear in person.

The PPS told relatives: “The prosecution have been in contact with the defence and it has now been confirmed that the case will be challenged in the magistrate’s court. This means that the hearing on 18th September will likely be a short procedural hearing in relation to the timetabling of the case going forward. The case will not be proceeding as a committal hearing on 18th September 2019 and as such the accused will not be attending in person – his legal representatives will be there on his behalf.”

As well as the murders of William McKinney and Jim Wray, Soldier F is also expected to be charged with the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell (deceased) who were all shot and wounded on Bloody Sunday.

In the letter to relatives, the PPS outlined arrangements for next Wednesday’s expected procedural hearing. In the event of “lawful protests” outside the court, the PPS said the PSNI would ensure access into or out of Bishop Street courthouse would not be impeded.

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