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30 July 1998 Edition

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Guards campaign stepped up

The Fisher/Wright Release Group, the British MPs and British military personnel who are fighting to have the murderers of a Belfast teenager released, staged a publicity stunt outside the Northern Ireland Office in London on Thursday 24 July.

The picket was headed by former Tory MP, Norman Tebbit, and ex- journalist, Martin Bell MP. It is part of an escalating campaign to have two Scots Guards, James Fisher and Mark Wright, released from prison. They were convicted of murdering, Peter McBride, in the New Lodge area of Belfast in 1992. They stopped, questioned and searched the eighteen year old before chasing him down an entry and shooting him in the back.

Billy McBride, Peter's uncle, condemned the demonstration as ``an insult''.

``The politicians who are involved are in it for their own selfish ends,'' he said adding that ``Martin Bell admitted to us that he got involved in the campaign without knowing the full facts of what happened.''

The self-proclaimed `anti-sleaze' MP Bell responded that he had never made any excuse for the killing. ``I've always said it was murder but it was murder on mistake,'' he said.

The previous Monday 150 peers in the House of Lords appealed to the queen to use her prerogative to free the two killers.

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