UK news State failed us at all levels, says family of Joe McCann last news
MetiNews.Com - The daughter of republican Joe McCann said the acquittal of two soldiers for murder reveals "failures of the State at all levels" in investigating her father's death.
Breaking News ! "The daughter of republican Joe McCann said the acquittal of two soldiers for murder reveals "failures of the State at all levels" in investigating her father's death. Known only as Soldiers A and C, the pair had stood trial for the murder of Official IRA member Joe McCann (24), who was shot dead in April 1972.The former paratroopers were formally acquitted after prosecutors offered no further evidence at their trial yesterdayMr McCann had been attempting to evade arrest by a plain clothed police officer in the Markets area of Belfast.Speaking outside Laganside Court following the acquittal of the former paratroopers, Mr McCann's daughter Aine, flanked by her family, said: "The RUC failed and the criminal justice failed, not only in this case but in the case of many other families."In a more detailed statement, the McCann family revealed they will be applying to the Attorney General to open an inquest in which Soldiers A and C will be compelled to appear and give evidence. The McCann family said: "This ruling does not acquit the State of murder. This ruling does not mean that Joe McCann was not murdered by the British Army."This trial has heard very clear evidence that Joe McCann was murdered by the British Army."He was shot in the back whilst unarmed, from a distance of 40 meters, posing no threat. It was easier to arrest him."He was murdered because the British Army operated with impunity for their crimes."The statement also branded the two soldiers as "cowards who hid behind anonymity", and said the State "over the last 49 years has protected its own interests to ensure British soldiers could kill with impunity".The judge had ruled evidence from interviews by a police legacy unit, the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), as inadmissible, and the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) on Tuesday confirmed it would not appeal against that decision, meaning the case could not proceed.NI Veterans Commissioner, Danny Kinahan said last night the outcome showed there should now be an "urgent review" of all pending legacy cases."My only conclusion is that this case should never have reached trial based on the evidence that the prosecution presented," said Mr Kinahan, a former Army captain."These two veterans, both in their 70s, along with their families, have gone through a terrible ordeal, over many years. Veterans deserve to be treated with respect as they bore the brunt of terrorism and all its horrors, and did so on behalf of us all."He added: "The PPS needs to explain how and why these men were put through this trial, and what implications the collapse of this case due to lack of admissible evidence will have on other legacy cases, particularly those involving former soldiers.
."I have always said that the law must be applied equally to everyone, whether a soldier, civilian or politician. Due process has been applied in this case and these men are now free to carry on with their lives," said the MLA. "At the time of his death the IRA said that Joe McCann was responsible for the murders of 15 soldiers. He was a ruthless and dedicated terrorist. My thoughts today are with all innocent victims."Conservative MP and former Veterans Minister, Johnny Mercer, who travelled to Belfast to hear the verdict in person, said the case "should never had happened"."Hopefully this marks the lowest point in this nation's treatment of her veterans. Government must act," he tweeted. East Belfast DUP MP Gavin Robinson said the case had been a "very clear example of the disparity of treatment between former members of our Armed Forces and those accused of terrorist offences".TUV leader Jim Allister insisted that it should have "been clear from the outset that this would be the outcome", adding: "The evidence was obviously flawed.""Once again the PPS face serious questions about their zeal to go after those who served in the security forces while those who went out with the intent to murder seldom appear before the courts," he said.The judge also questioned why the re-examination of the case by the HET did not prompt a fresh probe by the PSNI, with the veterans interviewed under caution for the specific offence of murder. Policing Board member and SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly said the PSNI's "failure" to open a fresh investigation and interview the individuals under caution after a HET re-examination in 2010 is "totally inexplicable"."I will be asking for a full report on this matter to be produced for the Policing Board as a matter of urgency," she said.Sinn Fein's Linda Dillon said she would continue to support the family as they continue "their campaign for truth and justice".Detective Superintendent Stephen Wright of the PSNI's Legacy Investigation Branch said it awaits the written judgment and will consider its findings and "any impact" it might have on other legacy probes."
"isAccessibleForFree": "False","cssSelector": "#flip-pay"}
Source = MetiNews.Com