Socialist Worker

'Get some kills,' soldiers told

Issue No. 1711

A FORMER soldier has confirmed that he will give damning evidence to the Saville inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972, when the British army killed 14 people.

The soldier will say that his colleagues in the Parachute Regiment deliberately shot innocent civilians. He will also claim that his original evidence to the 1972 Widgery inquiry was fabricated by government lawyers.

His account details officers telling troops to 'get some kills', and he says that some of those shot had their arms in the air. In an effort to discredit this crucial testimony some papers have concentrated on the soldier being offered £44,000 'in return for giving evidence'.

The reality is quite different. The soldier was traumatised by his experience in 1972 and almost immediately wrote out a full account. This found its way into the Irish Times and the soldier was later interviewed anonymously on Channel 4 News.

When the Saville inquiry opened the soldier offered (without any payment) to give evidence provided he was assured of his safety. He was then given the normal witness protection deal offered in criminal cases.

This involves a witness giving up his identity, his home and work and being paid his living and travelling expenses. This is the money which he will be 'paid'.

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Sat 26 Aug 2000, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1711
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