Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Limited Troubles

From the BBC:
"Westminster report backs Troubles prosecution limitation for soldiers"

Westminster's defence committee has backed a statue of limitations stopping investigation or prosecution of former British soldiers for murders during the Troubles. It has been claimed that legacy cases involving soldiers have been "unfairly prioritised". Prime Minister Theresa May described soldier prosecutions as "appalling". The head of Northern Ireland's Public Prosecutions Service has said the claims were unfair and "an insult".  Earlier this month, Army veterans held a rally in Belfast to protest what they called "imbalanced investigations".  Figures obtained by the BBC in February challenged the claims that investigations into Troubles killings are unduly focused on those committed by the Army. The report published by the government's defence committee said it favours a statue of limitations, coupled with a truth-recovery process to help bereaved families. It said that the committee heard from senior legal experts that if a statute of limitations was applied only to former Army personnel, then the government could be accused for legislating for "state impunity". However, the report stated that the committee stopped short of recommending a statute of limitations for all sides during the Troubles as it "would be for the next government to decide". It added that the government should "not lose sight of its moral responsibility to those who have served our country".   Dr Julian Lewis, the committee's chair, said: "To subject former soldiers to legal pursuit under the current arrangements is wholly oppressive and a denial of natural justice." DUP MP Gavin Robinson, a member of the committee, said the report is attempting to redress the "completely imbalanced treatment of those who terrorised our society and those brave service personnel who ensured they would never succeed".  "Early release of prisoners, a maximum two-year sentence for fresh terrorist convictions, odious on-the-runs legislation and a secretive scheme to issue letters of immunity have all tarnished the balance of justice." He added that he was "delighted the committee backed my amendment to recommend such a proposal would extend to members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and other security personnel".  However, Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly said the committee's recommendation was "an insult to victims and survivors".  "There can be no immunity for people who have murdered Irish citizens," he said. Tom Elliott, from the Ulster Unionist Party, welcomed what he described as "moves to protect those who risked their lives to defend the people of Northern Ireland". The SDLP's Dolores Kelly said no-one should be off limits to the rule of law.

^ As how the a military brat I know how the military "closes" ranks to protect its own. Most of the time the non-military side of the Federal Government also joins in that "closing." With that said. In this instance it does more harm than good. People may say that The Troubles ended in 1998 and that people should just move on instead of trying to bring-up the crimes of the past. To them I say that the crimes were committed in the past, but they were not treated as crimes by the local authorities (in Northern Ireland) the military authorities or the authorities in London when they were committed. Many were covered-up with the blame being placed on the innocent men, women and children that were their victims. A major example is Bloody Sunday in 1972  -which the 1970s British government report placed the blame on the victims themselves, but a new 2010s British government report placed the blame on the British soldiers and the British Prime Minister even apologized for the decades-long government cover-up. Had the events on Bloody Sunday been correctly handled at the time the soldiers would have been tried by a military court instead of receiving medals for their crimes and the innocent victims and their families would not have had to go through 40+ years of official government lying. The British Government and Military covered-up their crimes for decades and of course now they simply want it all to go away without the truth being made public. When a Government/Military of any country does that it shows they don't really feel any sorrow for the crimes committed in their name. Every country has a dark past and the sign of a great country is one that fully and openly admits those mistakes rather than continuing to cover-up and place blame elsewhere. ^

No comments:

Post a Comment