The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) this week informed the families of two men shot dead on Bloody Sunday that the former soldier known as Soldier F will appear before Derry Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, September 18.
Soldier F has been changed with the murders of William McKinney (26) and Jim Wray (22) as well as the attempted murder of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell.
In a letter to the Bloody Sunday families, a senior prosecutor said the PPS has been in contact with Soldier F’s solicitors to arrange the serving of papers.
The PPS said: “If the case is going to be challenged, then it will not proceed to a full committal hearing at the first listing, rather it will adjourn for arrangements to be made for the full hearing.
“There may be legal arguments in the case to deal with too.
“An accused must attend the court in person for a committal hearing, but if the case is not proceeding as a committal hearing at the first listing (i.e. if it is going to be challenged) then it is unlikely that the accused will attend in person on 18th September. In law it is sufficient for his legal representatives to attend on his behalf.”
Mickey McKinney, a brother of William McKinney, said he was relieved that a date has finally been set for proceedings against Soldier F to begin.
“We are determined to see justice for my brother,” Mr McKinney said.