Northern Ireland

Bloody Sunday: Soldier F court date is confirmed

James Wray, left, and William McKinney
Image caption James Wray and William McKinney were among 13 people shot dead at a civil rights march

The case of an ex-British soldier facing prosecution for two murders on Bloody Sunday is expected to be heard in court in Londonderry next month.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said in March there was enough evidence to charge him with the murders of James Wray and William McKinney.

He is also accused of the attempted murder of four other people.

In a letter to Bloody Sunday relatives, the PPS has confirmed a magistrate's court date of 18 September.

Soldier F also faces charges for the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell.

It had initially been thought he would appear in court in August.

Image caption Thirteen people were killed and 15 wounded on Bloody Sunday

But in the PPS letter, a senior public prosecutor said police had now "provided the outstanding material required to finalise the court papers".

He said the first listing of the case "will be for a for a committal hearing for the case to be transferred to the Crown Court, where any trial will take place".

The senior prosecutor added:" If the case is going to be challenged, then it will not proceed to a full committal hearing at the first listing, rather it will adjourn for arrangements to be made for the full hearing."

He also detailed that an accused must "attend court in person for a committal hearing, but if the case is not proceeding as a committal hearing at the first listing, then it is unlikely that the accused will attend in person on 18th September."

Thirteen people were killed and 15 wounded when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Derry on Sunday, 30 January 1972.

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