The brother of a man shot dead by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday in Derry has called for those responsible to be jailed.
John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother died in the 1972 atrocity, made his remarks as it emerged that a police investigation is underway.
Reports at the weekend suggested the British troops responsible for the 14 deaths could now face jail on murder charges.
And Kelly has hit out at those who back an amnesty for the soldiers.
He told the Irish Post newspaper in Britain that those who support an amnesty are ‘supporting murderers and the crime itself.’
He spoke after news broke that 20 retired British soldiers are to be arrested and questioned in relation to murder, attempted murder and criminal injury, as part of a police inquiry into Bloody Sunday.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence has hired lawyers to represent the ex-soldiers, most of whom are now in their sixties and seventies.
The paper says that Richard Kemp, a former colonel in the Royal Anglian Regiment, which was in Derry on the day, condemned the PSNI’s (police) decision to pursue prosecutions.
Kemp said: “Although I utterly condemn the unjustified killing that took place on Bloody Sunday, it is despicable that 41 years later law officers are planning to prosecute the soldiers involved for murder.
“This ridiculous, politically motivated prosecution is not in the public interest and should not be permitted.”
In response, Kelly told The Irish Post that he believes the soldiers should have been arrested immediately after the publication of the Savile Report in 2010.
The Savile Report concluded that the killing of the 14 unarmed Catholic civil rights protesters on Bloody Sunday was ‘unjustified and unjustifiable’.
Kelly said: “This is still raw within the families, it is something that is still open and has never been completed,.
“People say to us that these people are in their sixties or seventies. But it does not matter to me what age they are.
“And when I hear people calling for an amnesty and not to prosecute these soldiers, I think that is terribly wrong because murder was committed in this city and anyone who perpetrates murder anywhere in the world should always be brought to justice.”
Log in with your social accounts:
Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:
Don't have an account yet? Register now !
Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:
Already have an account ? Log in
Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:
Make sure we gathered the correct information from you
You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.
Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: