Kathleen Thompson, 47, was shot dead in the garden of her Creggan home during an Army raid on the estate.
A judge has provisionally ruled against granting the soldier full participant status in the inquest into Mrs Thompson’s death.
His lawyer has asked her to reconsider that decision.
On Monday, the soldier’s barrister joseph Aiken QC told a preliminary hearing to the inquest at Belfast Coroner’s Court that not granting the status would be unfair on the former serviceman.
Mr Aiken told the Coroner Mrs Justice Keegan: “What I am asking you to do, on behalf of KTM72 is to reconsider that provisional ruling in the light of all that has been said, including that the interested persons presently before you also say, for different reasons, that they agree that KTM72 should be provided with that which he seeks so that, as a matter of fairness, his interest can be properly protected and he can participate on an equal footing, where you are potentially considering that he may have taken someone’s life”.
Full participant status would mean the ex-soldier can be legally represented and have access to the documents before the inquest.
Granting full status could mean having to recall some witnesses who have already given evidence to the inquest, the court heard.
Mrs Thompson, a mother of six, died in disputed circumstances during an Army raid in Creggan estate and her death is the subject of a fresh inquest.
Members of the Royal Green Jackets were carrying out the search and arrest operation close to Mrs Thompson’s home on November 6, 1971 – the night she was shot dead.
The inquest had been adjourned since 2018 so a number of soldiers could be traced.
On Monday, Mr Aiken said it seemed to have been assumed that a shot his client said he fired was part of the same incident in which Ms Thompson died – but that may not be the case.Mr Aiken added: “In a situation where you will be considering whether or not KTM72 and the shots he fired killed Ms Thompson and whether or not, if that were so, the shots are fired and the resulting death were justified or not, that KTM72, who is not represented by the legal representatives of the MoD, that KTM72 would be not provided with material on whether or not he did kill Ms Thompson but instead be treated as a mere witness, we say cannot be right”.
The court also heard another ex-serviceman, Soldier D, has also been suspected of being the “shooter”.
A previous inquest into Mrs Thompson’s death, held in 1972, returned an open verdict.
The present inquest has been adjourned until January 22.Tags: