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UK prosecutors have confirmed they are considering legal actions for perjury against soldiers
involved in the Bloody Sunday massacre.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Prosecutors in Northern Ireland and in England are considering legal action
against British soldiers for perjury after the Saville report found that they had lied about their
involvement in the Bloody Sunday killings.

The families of the dead acknowledged that prosecuting the soldiers risked re-igniting sectarian
tensions in a city still battle scarred from four decades of fighting.

Europe correspondent Emma Alberici reports from Londonderry.

EMMA ALBERICI: For 38 years the people of Londonderry have waited for the truth to come out. In
Lord Saville's words the killings of 14 men and boys on Bloody Sunday was unjustified and
unjustifiable.

Tony Doherty was just nine years old when his father died here.

EMMA ALBERICI: You're one of six.

TONY DOHERTY: One of six children. I'm the third oldest.

EMMA ALBERICI, REPORTER: Patrick Doherty was a civil rights campaigner. On that day in January 1972
he was marching against internment, imprisonment without trial. The Saville report found that he
was shot dead by British army officers as he tried to crawl away.

TONY DOHERTY, BROTHER OF BLOODY SUNDAY VICTIM: The person who killed my father not 200 yards from
this spot has never spent a day in prison for what he's done. As a matter of fact he probably feels
glorified and has been made to feel glorified by what he's done and, you know, that's a difficult
thing for me to accept.

EMMA ALBERICI: Many of the families say they can't get on with their lives knowing the killers are
still free. But prosecuting the soldiers who fired at innocent men threatens to unlock the hatred
that some have been working hard to keep hidden for four decades.

Ronny Crawford is an Ulster unionist politician in Northern Ireland. His brother Maynard, a
sergeant in the army reserves, was shot and killed by the Irish Republican Army, the IRA, two weeks
before Bloody Sunday. He doesn't accept Lord Saville's findings.

RONNY CRAWFORD, BROTHER OF DEAD SOLDIER: He said that all those who were shot were innocent people
yet one of them, at least one of them was carrying nail bombs. You don't carry nail bombs if you're
going to a peaceful assembly.

EMMA ALBERICI: Some of the family members say the real path to closure would be a prosecution.

RONNY CRAWFORD: I find that very difficult to accept given what has happened with the peace
process. Take Bernard McGinn, for instance. He was a border sniper. He and his gang have murdered
more than were murdered in Bloody Sunday. They were sentenced to a total of 600 years imprisonment
and they were freed after 18 months.

So if people like that can have their crimes overlooked, what do we say to soldiers who were
brought in a position? They didn't sit down and say we're going to kill these people. They didn't
sit down and meditate on how they would do it. They were simply thrown into a situation of a
violent conflict which got out of hand and I think if the soldiers were to be prosecuted now it
would have grave consequences for the peace process.

EMMA ALBERICI: In what way?

RONNY CRAWFORD: We have let that go in the cause of peace. I've shook hands with Martin McGuinness.
But if the soldiers are going to be brought to account all this length of time afterwards and using
evidence, you know, after all these years, I think you may find that the unions may say there's no
point going on with this peace process, let's ditch the assembly.

EMMA ALBERICI: At the National Assembly in Belfast the Deputy First minister is Martin McGuinness
of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA. Lord Saville says he was probably carrying a machine
gun on the Bloody Sunday march which he may have fired.

It's something Martin McGuinness denies.

MARTIN MCGUINNESS: I was not armed with a machine gun on that stage. Lord Saville and the tribunal
used words like "probable" and "possible". All of that was based on very suspect sources.

EMMA ALBERICI: A condition of the Good Friday peace agreement was that Unionists and Republicans
would rule together. Under the terms of the agreement many crimes from the troubles would be
forgiven with jail sentences cut to as little as 2 years.

One of the most damning conclusions of Lord Saville's report refers to the legacy of Bloody Sunday.
He says the events of that day were a tragedy for the bereaved and the wounded but that Bloody
Sunday was a catastrophe for the people of Northern Ireland because it fuelled anger and violence
towards the British army.

DAVID CAMERON: On behalf of the Government, indeed on behalf of our country I am deeply sorry.

EMMA ALBERICI: The euphoria following the Prime Minister's apology this week is enough for some.
The Public Prosecution service is now considering whether charges should be laid on the basis of
the Saville report or whether instead it might be better to draw a line under that painful day once
and for all. Emma Alberici, Lateline.