Police due to investigate Bloody Sunday
A murder probe into the Bloody Sunday killings is to begin in the new year, police chiefs have revealed.
Thursday, 20 December 2012
Relatives of the 14 people who died when British paratroopers shot civil rights marchers in Londonderry in 1972 heard from senior PSNI commanders on Thursday.
Plans to hold a police investigation into the deaths had previously been revealed, after the Saville inquiry found in 2010 that victims had been shot without justification by members of the Parachute regiment.
Lord Saville, who headed the probe, apologised to victims' families and assured them the deaths would be examined.
PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie and Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris told families the investigation, which is expected to last four years, will be "lengthy and complex".
"Senior police met a delegation in Derry today representing some of the victims killed on Bloody Sunday," said a PSNI spokeswoman.
Police have also undertaken to provide updates to surviving victims and all the families who lost relatives on Bloody Sunday through the course of the investigation which will be lengthy and complex.
"Following consultation earlier this year with the Public Prosecution Service, officers provided an outline of the processes involved and the challenges posed by a criminal investigation into the events of 30 January 1972.
"The delegation was informed about the appointment from Serious Crime Branch of a senior investigating officer and the allocation of resources to create an investigation team which will begin work in the new year."
The Bloody Sunday Report heard from over 900 witnesses and took 12 years to complete, but police say those witnesses may have to come forward again, as testimony given for the Saville Inquiry cannot be used as evidence in criminal proceedings.
"For the investigation to be as comprehensive and effective as possible, police will be asking for public support in the form of witnesses who gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry now making statements to detectives," explained a PSNI spokeswoman.