If the actions of the British Army on Bloody Sunday are to be investigated by the North's police force, then Martin McGuinness' role on the day must be investigated too the North's First Minister Peter Robinson said on Thursday.
According to the Independent, the Deputy First Minister was an IRA leader in Derry in January 1972 when the shootings happened leading Robinson to ask: 'How could you avoid an inquiry into that and say that we're going to have an inquiry into the Army personnel that were there? The Deputy First Minister has openly admitted that he was in charge. If that was the case then there has to be an investigation if you're investigating the Army.'
McGuinness recently won political points from many in the unionist community for publicly shaking the Queen's hand in a gesture of reconciliation.
The Saville report into Bloody Sunday confirmed the innocence of the thirteen men shot dead by the British paratroopers but it also claimed that McGuinness gave the wrong information about his movements that day.
The report concluded he was probably carrying a machine gun but did not engage in 'any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire.' A fourteenth victim of the paratroopers died several months later.
Responding to the Robinson's call for a counter investigation McGuinness said: 'Lord Saville was very clear in his report into Bloody Sunday that the IRA had no responsibility for what happened on that day. I consider comments from unionist politicians today in the wake of the decision of the PSNI to investigate the events of Bloody Sunday as an attempt to divert attention away from the actions of the Parachute Regiment on that day. It is clear that they do not want to see the Paras investigated for murder.'
Bloody Sunday was called 'unjustified and "unjustifiable' by British Prime Minister David Cameron as he unveiled the report into the controversial shootings. Lord Saville concluded that all the civil rights protesters shot dead were innocent and the soldiers opened fire in the mistaken belief that they were under threat.
The findings from the Saville Inquiry cannot be used as evidence in the new police probe, however.
Some unionist politicians have said they are furious with the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Matt Baggot's decision to open an investigation, are in response are demanding that the inquiry be widened to include the murders of two RUC officers shot dead by the IRA in Derry just days before Bloody Sunday. One of the gunmen involved reportedly used a sub-machine gun.
Kate Nash, whose nineteen year old brother William was among the Bloody Sunday victims, told the Independent that the relatives were still seeking justice.
'We never asked for an (Saville) inquiry,' Nash told the press. 'We always asked for prosecutions because my brother was an innocent victim. They were all innocent.'
Nash said the police inquiry should go to wherever the evidence took them, even if it meant McGuinness being questioned as well.
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