AP front 1 - 2022

11 February 1999 Edition

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McBride family go to court

In an unprecedented legal move the family of murdered Belfast teenager Peter McBride have lodged a legal challenge in Belfast High Court against the MOD decision to allow the two Scots Guardsmen Mark Wright and James Fisher convicted of Peter's murder to remain on active service with their regiment.

Application for leave to apply for a judicial review was granted at the High Court on Wednesday. At the hearing legal representatives for the McBride family will seek to quash the Army Board decision to retain the killers on the basis that ``the said decision is unlawful and in breach of the Queen's regulations''. The Ministry of Defence will strongly oppose the application.

The family is angry at a claim made by the British Armed Forces Minister Doug Henderson who told the McBride family during a recent meeting that there were justifiable ``exceptional circumstances'' in allowing the guardsmen to stay in the army.

Under Queen's Regulations members of the British army convicted of murder or other custodial offences must be dismissed unless it is found there are ``exceptional circumstances''. The McBride family has argued that the MOD use this clause as an ``excuse for every murder carried out by the state since the troubles began''.

Jean McBride, Peter's mother, said, ``all we want is justice. After all the Army Board insulted not just my family but the judges who found there were no `exceptional circumstances' when they found Wright and Fisher guilty of murder''.

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1