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3 December 1998 Edition

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Full Bloody Sunday immunity not yet granted.

Bloody Sunday relative Tony Doherty has refuted recent press reports that British soldiers are to get immunity from prosecution.

Despite the `partial immunity' being recommended and Lord Saville's belief that this will make it harder for soldiers to refuse to answer questions on the grounds that they could incriminate themselves, Doherty told An Phoblacht that a prosecution could arise separately from the inquiry if other evidence suggests guilt.

Doherty said that relatives opposed immunity ``on the grounds that soldiers should be made legally accountable for their actions and should face prosecution''.

He said, ``immunity under the Saville inquiry is limited to individual witnesses, in this case soldiers and possibly government officials not being made liable for prosecution as a consequence of their testimony''. Doherty also noted that the aim of this inquiry was not to prosecute but to find the truth.

He was quick to point out that, despite press speculation, the relatives were not about to withdraw from the inquiry due to the recent developments. He said: ``While this does not meet the relatives' agreement, there is at this stage a determination to engage with the inquiry in the twin pursuit of truth and justice''.

Meanwhile it is reported that only 114 of the estimated 3000 soldiers stationed in Derry at the time have contacted the inquiry team.

According to the general inquiry update, ``this result includes a clear majority of all soldiers who are already known to have fired shots on 30 January 1972''.

This and the fact that the soldiers involved in the massacre who have contacted the inquiry have all been members of the Parachute Regiment has angered campaigners.

John Kelly, whose brother Michael was killed, said, ``we know from our own investigations that the Royal Anglicans were present''.

This came to light on Channel Four News on Friday 17 January when they reported that soldiers from the Anglican Regiment fired from the walls, possibly killing John Young, William Nash and Michael McDaid.
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