The British Army “don’t do conspiracies” according to a man responsible for at least two cover-ups of massacres.
General Sir Mike Jackson was giving evidence at the hearing in Belfast into the 1971 Ballymurphy massacre.
Ten civilians, including a mother of eight and a Catholic priest, were killed across three days from 9 to 11 August by British soldiers.
The shootings in West Belfast followed the introduction of internment without trial. Jackson was a captain in the Parachute Regiment on deployment in Belfast at the time.
He described his role then as community relations and press liaison.
Michael Mansfield, lawyer for the family of victim Joseph Corr, asked why soldiers involved in the shootings were not interviewed by the Royal Military Police at the time.
He put it that there had been an attempt to “cover up” the shooting of Joseph Corr and John Laverty on 11 August. Jackson responded, “It is a preposterous accusation which would require a huge number of people to be part of. It simply does not add up.”
He added, “I have absolutely no doubt the IRA were firing on soldiers and soldiers were firing on the IRA.”
A newspaper article published later on 11 August described victims as gunmen, which their families have denied.
The inquest heard guns were not found when their bodies were recovered.
Jackson told the inquest he accepts it was likely he was a captain quoted by the newspaper, although coincidentally he did not recall giving the interview.
Jackson was second in command of the Parachute Regiment when they shot dead 14 unarmed people after a civil rights march in Derry five months after the Ballymuprhy masscre.
He was later to command British forces during the invasion of Iraq.
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Sex dungeon teacher fraudster banned
A disgraced head teacher who used school funds to build a “sex dungeon” inside his office has been banned from the profession.
James Stewart defrauded his school out of more than £100,000 in bogus expenses claims, including for smoked salmon, oysters and wine.
His office was found to have an “inner sanctum” containing lubricant and sex toys.
The Department for Education launched an investigation into his running of Sawtry Village Academy, Cambridgeshire, where he was executive principal.
He was convicted of fraud and misconduct in public office and was jailed for four years in October 2017.
A Teaching Regulation Agency panel concluded in a report published last week that it was proportionate to ban Stewart from teaching indefinitely.
Former Tory bigot now Brexit MEP bigot Ann Widdecombe suggested science might one day “produce an answer” to being gay.
She added, “I do not imagine for one moment that the Brexit Party will be putting forward a policy on gay sex changes in its manifesto.”
Prosecution expert not entirely knowledgeable
A trial at Southwark crown court in London that collapsed last week may have broader consequences.
The case was over allegations of fraudulent selling of carbon credits.
It collapsed after an expert witness for the prosecution, Andrew Ager, was revealed to have no academic qualifications.
Ager has appeared as a prosecution witness in 20 trials and advised up to 50 police investigations.
He admitted he had never read a book about carbon credits.
But said he once watched a documentary on the subject.
He said he kept sensitive material given to him by police in a cupboard under the stairs, but after some was lost during a leak he moved it.
Police didn’t keep records of their meetings with him or what evidence he was given.
Justice for the political lookalikes
Theresa May’s resignation was devastating news for the Theresa May lookalike industry.
Troublemaker demands no redundancies and for nationalisation of the top 200 May lookalikes.
The Susan Scott Lookalikes agency pointed out, “Boris lookalikes are the most fun, as the guys can really ham it up.
“We have a Michael Gove and a Chuka Umunna who fancies himself as Sajid Javid.”
Theresa May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell is job hunting. His boss quitting was not one of his highlight events.
In his review of the previous week, emailed to MPs on last Tuesday, that warranted only a mention in small type in the final paragraph. He concentrated instead on the activities of leadership contenders Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt. Keeping his options open?
Jets will come then won’t fly
Remember Britain’s newish multimillion-pound fighter jet? The ones that aren’t on the aircraft carriers—those ones.
The Ministry of Defence has bought 17 F-35s, with a plan to purchase 138 in total at a cost of mere £9.1 billion.
The aircraft, developed by the US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, will alledgedly fly from Britain’s two aircraft carriers—eventually.
The US Government Accountability Office has warned that low stocks of spares, repair backlogs and mismatched parts kept the existing US squadron grounded for 30 percent of the time last year.
And even if the planes do fly they will still cost lots more.
The ones already purchased need a software update that costs about £30 million per plane.