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Johnny Mercer Resigns

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Johnny Mercer Resigns

Old 22nd Apr 2021, 19:28
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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After the decades of apartheid and human rights abuses, even the South African government realized you couldn't deal with the post-conflict issues using the existing justice infrastructure and set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The TRC at least allowed the wronged to be heard and the wrongdoers to admit their roles - on both sides of the equation. Either prosecute everybody, or prosecute nobody; but to leave these individuals hanging out there to dry while actual terrorists are running around like senior statesmen is galling to say the least. The fact that these Squaddies have been abandoned by the same Government indecision and fudging that caused them to be there in the first place 50 years ago should be a surprise to nobody.
Clear, concise and nailed it. Well posted.

@iampedant...cool your jets mate, I'm merely pointing out that there is an interesting grownup debate to be had here. If you want to spraff about the difference in the political world between a resignation and a sacking fill yer boots
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Old 26th Apr 2021, 14:22
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknew...rs/ar-BB1g3OaW

Ex-paratroopers deny 1972 murder of Official IRA man

The veterans, referred to in court proceedings as Soldiers A and C, entered not guilty pleas at the start of their trial at Belfast Crown Court on Monday.

They will remain anonymous throughout the proceedings.

The two men wore suits and face masks and were seated at the side of the courtroom, in an area usually reserved for the jury.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

It is one of a number of legacy cases, referring to incidents which took place before the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998, on which Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service has taken decisions.
Former veterans minister Johnny Mercer is also attending Belfast Crown Court to watch the proceedings.

The ex-Army officer left his ministerial role last week after expressing frustration at a lack of progress on legislation to protect British veterans who served during the Troubles from prosecution.

The Conservative MP was accompanied in court by Northern Ireland Veterans Commissioner Danny Kinahan.

Mr Mercer said the trial of the two former soldiers is “unfair”.

“I think in any conflict, it is messy, it is unpleasant, it is a horrible process to go through for both sides,” he added.

“What I don’t think is – 50 years later – you get a truly accurate picture of what happened.

“I think it is unfair to try and apply today’s standards of operations and retrospectively apply them to that time and try to get justice.

“I have huge sympathy on all sides but we need to move on in Northern Ireland.

“What is happening today, I don’t think is fair and that’s why I am here.

“The reality is today, as we stand here, there are two individuals in court for something that happened 50 years ago.

“They served their country, they did their best. War is messy and we need to find a solution for everybody.”

Mr Mercer denied he is “interfering” in the trial, adding he is there to “learn about the process”.

A small group of protesters, some dressed in military uniform, were picketing outside the court in Belfast ahead of the trial.

Demonstrators held banners expressing opposition to historical prosecution of former British soldiers.
https://irishlegal.com/article/ex-so...f-human-rights

Lawyers for a former British soldier charged with the attempted murder of a 27-year-old man in 1974 have launched a bid to bring a claim for discriminatory treatment to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Dennis Hutchings, who served in the British Army for 26 years, is being prosecuted for the attempted murder of John Patrick Cunningham in Co Armagh on 15 June 1974.

However, McCue & Partners LLP has now written to Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis to ask the government to fast-track the case to the ECtHR to settle the issue before his trial begins in October.

In the letter, the firm said ministers had made “numerous promises to these veterans to introduce legislation to protect them from such vexatious and discriminatory treatment” and had thereby created “a legitimate expectation that such promises would be kept”.

The coming into effect of the Overseas Operations Bill “will only serve to add another layer of discriminatory treatment of veterans who served in Northern Ireland by denying them the protections that are soon to be afforded their fellow soldiers who served overseas”, it added.
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world...ht/ar-BB1g3CoV

Mr Hutchings, 78, said yesterday: "The Government has let us down. It always has. Promise after promise has been broken. We just can't wait any longer while the human rights of those who fought to protect this country's security are trampled over. It's time to let the courts decide."

Mr Hutchings, who is seriously ill, is facing charges relating to the death of John Cunningham in 1974 - despite being cleared three times.
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Old 27th Apr 2021, 08:35
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst there is all of this moral high ground about the apparent execution of a mass murderer what about the Dublin and Monaghan bombings which killed 34 civilians?
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Old 27th Apr 2021, 12:22
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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blind pew,

Let me correct that for you...

"Whilst there is all this moral high ground about the apparent murder of a mass murderer...
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Old 27th Apr 2021, 14:53
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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There is the issue - murder isn't normally a crime with a statute of limitations
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Old 27th Apr 2021, 20:28
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
blind pew,

Let me correct that for you...

"Whilst there is all this moral high ground about the apparent murder of a mass murderer...
Or even:

"Whilst there is all this moral high ground about the alleged murder of an alleged mass murderer.

Last edited by langleybaston; 27th Apr 2021 at 20:29. Reason: speelin
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Old 28th Apr 2021, 07:55
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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High ground


Monday’s High Ground. The moral..if in a 1300fpm very rough climb with a 17 kph wind blowing you towards Carlingford loch and a reserve deployment would see you drown then land. As for semantics ..I gave up on drooling over the Concise Oxford English Dictionary when I discovered flying over half a century ago.
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Old 1st May 2021, 07:02
  #48 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/t...apse-36m5pd2wj

Key evidence dismissed in trial of former paras over IRA man’s murder

The case against two former paratroopers accused of murdering an unarmed Irish republican during the bloodiest year of the Northern Ireland Troubles is on the brink of collapse.

A judge in Belfast dismissed key evidence in the trial of the pair in connection with the 1972 fatal shooting of Official IRA militant Joe McCann. The evidence relates to a report by detectives investigating unsolved killings from the 25-year conflict in Northern Ireland......

At Belfast Laganside court the prosecution accepted that if the evidence was excluded the charges against the defendants must fail. The prosecution is considering an appeal against the ruling, which will be heard on Tuesday at 2pm.

The court was told that the only evidence implicating the defendants came from two sources. The first was statements they made to the Royal Military Police in 1972; the second source was statements and answers which they volunteered to the Historical Enquiries Team of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in March 2010.

The defence team argued that all the evidence was inadmissible and should be excluded under Article 74 and 76 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.

Article 74 states that a confession that may have been obtained by oppression of the person who made it should be inadmissible. Article 76 allows for the exclusion of evidence if its admission would have an adverse effect on the fairness of proceedings.

Mr Justice O’Hara said the prosecution had accepted that if the evidence was excluded the charges against A and C must fail. He said that the decision was therefore “fundamental” to the trial proceeding any further.

The prosecution accepted that the 1972 statements were not admissible on a number of grounds, including that the soldiers were ordered to make them, they were not conducted under caution, there was no access to legal representation and the army’s policy of not asking soldiers to provide an explanation or rationale for their actions.

However, they argued that those statements became admissible because they were adopted by the defendants at their interviews in March 2010.

In his ruling the judge said: “What was required in this case, and what never took place, was that the PSNI should have interviewed the defendant under specific caution to suspect a crime of murder. If that had been done, and if admissions had been made, then prosecutions would have been possible.”

He said that it was not legitimate to put the 1972 evidence before the court “dressed up and freshened up with a new 2010 cover”.

He said the prosecution had come nowhere near proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the statements were not so obtained.....
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Old 1st May 2021, 10:00
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Oh, that is SO sad. Whoda thunk that the RMP would ever do something in a squaddie's interest?

CG
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Old 1st May 2021, 12:36
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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We all have personal understanding of the situation the soldiers faced, I was in the province at the time.
The individual concerned was well known to security forces , his face was displayed on most bases
His method was to attract the attention of soldiers and then lure them into an ambush, selecting soldiers in a small group unsupervised by officers
On the evening police tried to arrest him and then requested aid from troops which was agreed
The attacker was recognised and ran away but the troops knew what would happen if they followed him
I still have my copy of the card and it seems, to me, that the conditions for opening fire were marginal, one view would be not but another would be yes
At this length of time a fair trial is impossible. With the government promises to both sides the plan to prosecute makes the legal authorities seem grossly biased
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Old 1st May 2021, 12:37
  #51 (permalink)  

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Whoda thunk that the RMP would ever do something in a squaddie's interest
Yes, but not on purpose!
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Old 1st May 2021, 15:34
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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With the government promises to both sides the plan to prosecute makes the legal authorities seem grossly biased
.....and grossly incompetent!
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Old 1st May 2021, 17:13
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Could someone more familiar with the various forces here enlighten us as to what possible benefit there is for anyone to unbury these events?
The IRA actually apologized for killing Mountbatten, yet it seems the English judicial system is in a time warp at best.
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Old 1st May 2021, 17:36
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
... what possible benefit there is for anyone to unbury these events?
If it's not the appeasement* of IRA/SF, I'd like an answer/opinion on that too.

CG

* perhaps with peace as its dividend, granted.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 09:37
  #55 (permalink)  

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The IRA actually apologized for killing Mountbatten
Mary Lou MacDonald actually said:

I'm sorry that happened
Not quite an apology methinks........

Sort of thing one might say following an accident, not a planned murder that killed more than just Mountbatten....
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Old 2nd May 2021, 16:45
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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well I guess she could do what politicos do these days and go on TV and rend her clothes and cry and weep and beg forgiveness for things which can't be undone.

I'm not sure you CAN "apologise" for that sort of thing - a recognition that it was wrong is enough for me



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Old 2nd May 2021, 19:06
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
well I guess she could do what politicos do these days and go on TV and rend her clothes and cry and weep and beg forgiveness for things which can't be undone.

I'm not sure you CAN "apologise" for that sort of thing - a recognition that it was wrong is enough for me
Her weasel words are not for me, and not for many, and not for the poor old boys on trial or awaiting yet another "process"

Mercer did the right thing: how refreshing, how rare, how thoroughly decent.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 02:51
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
Her weasel words are not for me, and not for many, and not for the poor old boys on trial or awaiting yet another "process"

Mercer did the right thing: how refreshing, how rare, how thoroughly decent.
Imho just having her say sorry was progress, although probably irrelevant to this situation..
It still seems hugely unjust to pursue the rank and file decades later when there was a political decision to close that chapter. I can see this causing Mercer to revolt.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 07:31
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Problem is you can use all the reasons for not pursuing British Forces in N Ireland when you look at other historic accusations of (possible) crimes and murders.

Where do you draw the line - other than to say "this case is different because they're our guys"?


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Old 3rd May 2021, 09:18
  #60 (permalink)  

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"this case is different because they're our guys"?
Also:

Our guys = legal

Their guys = criminal

Next question?
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