The British Defence Secretary is insulting grieving victims by describing their search for justice as an ‘endless fishing inquest circle’, Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said.
The party’s Justice Spokesperson was responding to the comments made by Ben Wallace in a media interview.
The Foyle MLA said: “As an ex-British Army officer, Ben Wallace’s comments are perhaps not surprising but he is also a government minister and therefore has an obligation to ensure that all are treated equally under the law.
“Instead, with these comments he is again supporting inequality in the law by suggesting that former British soldiers should be exempt from justice.
“He was supported in this by the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson whose party continues to peddle the myth that the legacy process is weighted against former British soldiers.
“That is an insult to the grieving families of those murdered by the British State and it’s proxies in loyalist death squads.
“Those families have fought for decades to achieve some semblance of truth and justice. Some of them are only just securing inquests now so for the British Defence Secretary to describe that as an ‘endless fishing inquest circle’ is highly insulting. The only thing that’s endless is the continuous regurgitation of this nonsense by successive British Ministers.
“It was also the DUP who repeatedly insisted during negotiations that there could be no amnesties for anyone. Perhaps they should outline exactly when and why this policy changed?
“Regardless of what the DUP may want to happen, both they and the British Government need to know that any attempt to provide immunity or impunity for former British soldiers is completely unacceptable.”