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26 November 1998 Edition

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Bloody Sunday immunity row continues

The collection of eyewitness evidence for the Bloody Sunday inquiry ended last week in the midst of controversy surrounding the issue of immunity for the British soldiers involved in the Derry shootings. Mr Dessie Doherty representing the Derry Solicitors' Association, says that ``between 450 an 500 people have come in and given statements''.

Among those who made statements to the legal team representing the families were those wounded on Bloody Sunday.

Three of the wounded have called on Lord Saville, the inquiry's chairman, not to consent to the British military's request for immunity for the soldiers involved on Bloody Sunday.

And the relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday are formally objecting to the moves to grant immunity. Michael McKinney, whose brother was shot dead on the day, added his weight to the dispute and made a direct appeal to Saville not to grant immunity.

Patricia Coyle, a solicitor representing the families, said, ``objections to the immunity of the soldiers could result in another oral submission before public hearings commence next year''.

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