Ex-soldier faces murder trial 47 years after

A former British soldier charged with murdering two civilians in the 1972 Bloody Sunday killings faces an initial court hearing on Wednesday.

The emblematic case is being heard in Londonderry, the city where the killings took place, and is highly divisive in a province haunted by the legacy of conflict.

British troops opened fire on a civil rights demonstration in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry on January 30, 1972, killing 13 people.

A 14th victim later died of his wounds.

The day has become one of the most symbolic in the grim history of the Troubles — the sectarian unrest which gripped the British province of Northern Ireland.

In addition to two murder charges, the ex-paratrooper, identified only as “Soldier F”, faces charges of the attempted murder of four others.

But he will not be present during the first day of proceedings in Londonderry, where security is likely to be high.

“Soldier F” was one of 17 British veterans who had faced investigation, plus two alleged Irish Republican Army (IRA) paramilitaries.

But he was the only one charged by Northern Ireland’s public prosecutor in March following decades of investigation hampered

The announcement infuriated supporters of Britain’s military intervention in Northern Ireland, prompting marches in support of the soldier in Belfast and London.

 

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