Former soldier “appalled” by new job offer for Legacy of Troubles researchers

Military veterans outside Belfast Crown Court during the trial of Soldiers A and C. Photo: Jonathan Porter / PressEye

Military veterans outside Belfast Crown Court during the trial of Soldiers A and C. Photo: Jonathan Porter / PressEye

The former soldiers said they hoped the Northern Ireland court system would reassess its approach to prosecuting veterans after the trial of two ex-Paras failed last month.

Identified only as Private A and Private C, the two men were formally acquitted of the murder of Joe McCann at Belfast Crown Court after Judge O’Hara said it was not legitimate to present evidence gathered in 1972 in court “dressed and refreshed with a new cover 2010”.

A veteran who contacted the News Letter said he was “appalled” to read the job posting looking for staff to “dig deeper into the endless investigation into what the security forces did or did not do. did not do during the Op Banner period.

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He said: “The fact that the chief of police is willing to invest time and money in this file is in my opinion a shame.

“The files these researchers will examine will focus only on the security forces – not on terrorists because they have no files.

“Most veterans feel this is very unfair, unfair and wrong. In order for society to move away from all the injuries and damage caused by a long terrorist campaign, a line must be drawn in inheritance investigations. “

The former soldier added: “As society begins to recover from Covid-19 and the costs involved, most well-meaning people would rather see the money spent on clearing the backlog of NHS operations rather than on investigating the issues. “

The role of the Inheritance Researcher is to help ‘meet the needs of the Northern Ireland Police Service / Crown Prosecutor’s Office in relation to inheritance investigations / civil claims and any other problem ”, with a maximum salary of £ 26,000.

Paul Young of Justice for the NI Veterans Original said the job posting “does not inspire any additional confidence” among veterans regarding the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland.

He said: “Following the recent acquittal of Soldiers A and C … we hoped that an external judicial review would be carried out”, the recent decisions of the prosecution being fully examined.

Mr Young added: “It looks like the assault on veterans is going to escalate rather than decrease, as you can be sure the only people to look for will be the security forces.”

PSNI has yet to respond to a request for comment.

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