Northern Ireland

Saville 'should exonerate dead' - Martin McGuinness

Bloody Sunday
Image caption Thirteen people died in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday

Martin McGuinness has said he hopes the Saville Inquiry will say that everyone killed or injured on Bloody Sunday was unarmed and posing no threat.

The Deputy First Minister has rejected criticism from unionists who say that he has questions about his role in the IRA around the time of Bloody Sunday.

The inquiry into the killings of 13 people in 1972 is due to be published on Tuesday.

It took 12 years to compile, at a cost of almost £200m.

Mr McGuinness said: "The citizens of Derry, to a man and woman, want Saville to make it absolutely clear that the 27 people who were shot on that day - murdered and injured - were completely innocent people and that those people who inflicted those deaths and injuries were the guilty parties."

He added that he believed he had already accounted for his role on Bloody Sunday.

"I have been in and out of Castlereagh more often than most people, particularly after Bloody Sunday, and been questioned about many things.

"The difference for me is that people who were involved in the murders here have not been questioned."

'Erroneous'

The Sinn Fein MP, who has admitted being an IRA commander in Derry on 30 January 1972, also said that it was "erroneous" that he had told Tony Blair's chief-of-staff Jonathan Powell that the inquiry was unnecessary.

In his book "Great Hatred, Little Room", Mr Powell said Mr McGuinness told him that an apology would have sufficed.

Meanwhile, leading human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield QC said he believed Saville had a good opportunity of fulfilling his aims.

"I think if anyone, or any group of people stands a chance of getting to the truth, then it is this one.

"For those who have survived and remember, I think it will be a day of great tension and expectation. In fact they have finally achieved the goal that they set out to do."

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