Published Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Soldier D recalled how a senior colleague fired the first shot at the scene. (© UTV)
Republicans Dessie Grew, 37, and Martin McCaughey, 23, were killed when soldiers fired 72 bullets at them near farm buildings at Loughgall, Co Armagh in October 1990.
A man known only as Soldier D recalled how he opened fire on the men after a senior colleague fired the first shot.
It later emerged that two men did not shoot and the soldiers have said they were firing at flashes they now believe were caused by their own bullets.
Barrister for the families, Karen Quinlivan, cross-examined Soldier D on Tuesday about differences in statements he gave in 1990 and 2011.
The soldier gave evidence from behind a curtain at Laganside courts in Belfast. He confirmed that in the first few seconds after the shooting started, he shot McCaughey, who had already been felled by the first bullets shot by Soldier A.
When asked why he had not revealed to police at the time that he had shot a man while he was on the ground, Soldier D replied: "My legal adviser told me to say that."
Ms Quinlivan said: "And you were told by your legal adviser not to communicate that to the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary)?"
The soldier said that was correct and added: "I wasn't very happy about that. And I reported that after the event."
He said he fired because he believed McCaughey was still a threat.
He said of the advice given to him by the military: "I raised it when I went back to my organisation."
Soldier D said: "I did complain. I complained vigorously."
The inquest continues.