Shameful prosecution of our veterans starts today

Ex veterans minister Johnny Mercer will be in Belfast today to support two ex-soldiers being prosecuted for killing an IRA commander.

Soldiers A and C, now in their early 70s, are due to stand trial accused of the murder of Official IRA commander Joe McCann in Belfast in 1972.

The former Parachute Regiment soldiers are the first British servicemen to be prosecuted over the killing of an active member of the IRA, and the first to stand trial since the Good Friday Agreement.

They were cleared at the time but the Police Service of Northern Ireland reopened the case in 2016.

Huge credit to Mr Mercer for taking a stance and for supporting Soldiers A and C.

When a significant time has passed witnesses’ recollections and memories fade, documentary evidence is lost and other evidence is weakened. A fair trial is impossible. The whole situation is wrong, ludicrous and against all reason.

How can the military operate in dealing with terrorists if they face individual prosecution as a result?

Where is this our protection of our veterans when they need it the most? Shame on the MoD and politicians for allowing this to happen.

Hilary Meredith