UK NewsSoldier F case reaches court for the first time as ex-paratrooper now in his 60s is accused of two murders on Bloody Sunday in 1972
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The case of Soldier F reaches court today for the first time as an ex-paratrooper aged in his 60s is accused of two murders on Bloody Sunday.
The former serviceman also faces five attempted murder charges in relation to the shootings in Londonderry on January 30 1972.
His case has been listed for hearing before a district judge in Derry Magistrates’ Court.
The decision to prosecute the ex-paratrooper was announced by the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service in March.
He is not required to attend court at this stage of the criminal proceedings and is not expected to be there in person. He will instead be represented by his legal team.
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Bloody Sunday became one of the most notorious incidents of the Northern Ireland Troubles when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a crowd of civil rights demonstrators, killing 13.
Soldier F is accused of murdering James Wray and William McKinney. He also stands accused of the attempted murders of Patrick O’Donnell, Joseph Friel, Joe Mahon and Michael Quinn.
He faces a seventh supporting charge of the attempted murder of a person or persons unknown on the day.
The hearing before District Judge Barney McElholm is not expected to last long. Proceedings are anticipated to focus on how the case will progress going forward.
Relatives of those killed on Bloody Sunday are expected to walk together to court ahead of Wednesday morning’s hearing.
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A timeline of Bloody Sunday and the Troubles
August 1969 - British Government first send troops into Northern Ireland to restore order after three days of rioting in Catholic Londonderry.
30 January 1972 - On 'Bloody Sunday' 13 civilians are shot dead by the British Army during a civil rights march in Londonderry.
March 1972 - The Stormont Government is dissolved and direct rule imposed by London.
1970s - The IRA begin its bloody campaign of bombings and assassinations in Britain.
April 1981 - Bobby Sands, a republicans on hunger strike in the Maze prison, is elected to Parliament. He dies a month later.
October 1984 - An IRA bomb explodes at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, where Margaret Thatcher is staying during the Tory Party conference.
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Early 1990s - Margaret Thatcher and then Sir John Major set up a secret back channel with the IRA to start peace talks. The communications was so secret most ministers did not know about it.
1993 - Two IRA bombs hidden in litter bins detonated on Bridge Street in Warrington Cheshire, killing 12-year-old Tim Parry and three-year-old Johnathan Ball and injuring dozens of civilians.
April 1998 - Tony Blair helps to broker the Good Friday Agreement, which is hailed as the end of the Troubles. It establishes the Northern Ireland Assembly with David Trimble as its first minister.
2000s - With some exceptions the peace process holds and republican and loyalist paramilitaries decommission their weapons
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2010 - The Saville Report exonerates the civilians who were killed on Bloody Sunday leading to a formal apology from then Prime Minister David Cameron to the families.
2019 - Prosecutors announce whether to brig charges against the 17 surviving Paras who fired shots that day.
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