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28 June 2001 Edition

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Grimaldi gives evidence to Saville Inquiry

Appearing at the Saville Inquiry, the Italian journalist and photographer Fulvio Grimaldi gave a detailed account of a number of shootings by British soldiers that he witnessed on Bloody Sunday. Working for ABC News and as a photo journalist for the Italian magazine Jiorni, Grimaldi regularly travelled to the North of Ireland and in 1972 he had been accompanied by his future wife, Susan North.

Many of the photographs taken by Grimaldi during Bloody Sunday, which include images of the body of Bernard McGuigan, of Bishop Edward Daly and others tending the dying Jackie Duddy and of Daly waving the blood stained handkerchief at British paratroopers, captured some of the most harrowing scenes of that day.

Speaking at the tribunal, Grimaldi described his experience of the Widgery Inquiry as ``unpleasant'' and said that he had been shocked when he was not required to give evidence about many of the events he had observed.

``I thought it was astonishing that the inquiry did not wish to hear from me about all the events. I said I was a professional observer, a reporter and an international observer who could be considered a neutral observer,'' he said. Grimaldi criticised his questioning during Widgery as ``arrogant'' and ``offensive''.

Giving evidence to Saville, Grimaldi described the killing of Bernard McGuigan and the wounding of Michael Bridge. ``His head jerked back, his face whipped round to the left, his body spun around and he collapsed. He was looking towards the body of Patrick Doherty, another victim, when he was shot,'' he said.

Grimaldi said that he later became concerned about his materials and recordings after someone reported hearing radio instructions on a British Army radio ordering his apprehension by ``whatever means necessary''.

``My relationship with the RUC and the army was not good,'' said Grimaldi. ``The RUC would often swear at me in the street and so on. They thought I was too friendly with the Catholic community.'' Grimaldi escaped over the border with his film and recordings intact. When developed, his photographs provided dramatic evidence of the actions of British troops on that day.

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