Prosecution of British Soldiers

Declassified documents recently uncovered by the PFC are showing the extent to which the legal establishment colluded with the British Army in the early 70s to ensure that soldiers would not be prosecuted for murder.

Meeting with Attorney General

Two pages of a memo (AG 1971 p2 and AG 1971 p3) concerning the visit of a J.M. Parkin, Head of C2 at HQNI (British Army HQ) in the North to the then Attorney General Basil Kelly, a Unionist MP. In reference to any potential prosecutions of soldiers for the murder of civilians Parkin notes,

"I have no doubt the Attorney General is doing all within his power to protect the security forces against criminal proceedings in respect of actions on duty."

The memo continues...

"I am however satisfied that there is no need to remind him of the dangers to morale inherent in prosecutions of soldiers or policemen."

At the meeting the Attorney General promised to advise the British Army in advance if soldiers were to be prosecuted.

Instructions to not prosecute soldiers

The second document, also 2 pages, is a diary of the meeting and additional confirmation that the Attorney General fully understood that HQNI was telling him that he should not prosecute soldiers. In effect the military tail was wagging the legal dog. This meeting took place less than two months before Bloody Sunday... See related documents under William Mc Greanery in individual cases.