Amnesty for Northern Ireland veterans facing prosecution 'is replaced by sustainable cat litter'

Mail Online | 10/12/2019 | James Gant For Mailonline
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A former head of the Army has expressed dismay at reports that legislation to protect military veterans from prosecution has been jettisoned from the Queen's Speech in favour of laws on 'sustainable cat litter'.

Boris Johnson had promised to end the 'witch hunt' of soldiers over historic allegations of offences committed in operations during the Troubles in Northern Ireland as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Prime - Minister - Legislation - Queen - Speech

But the Prime Minister has reportedly been persuaded to omit the legislation from the Queen's Speech on Monday by Number 10 advisers and officials in the Northern Ireland Office.

The proposed law would have included a statutory presumption against prosecution for current or former personnel for alleged offences committed in the course of duty more than 10 years ago.

Evidence - Cases - Prosecutions - Interest - Circumstances

Compelling new evidence would be needed to delve back into old cases, with historic prosecutions only in the public interest in 'exceptional circumstances'.

A Whitehall source told the Telegraph: 'You will find more about sustainable cat litter in the Queen's Speech than you will about veterans.'

Nothing - Veterans

They added: 'There will be nothing in there for veterans. It's very disappointing.

'Boris wanted it in there but the people around him showed a lack of interest in having it included in the Queen's Speech.'

General - Lord - Dannatt - Chief - Staff

General Lord Dannatt, a former chief of the general staff, said he is 'very disappointed' at the move.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: 'It is a really major issue here which the Government has got to address.

'It - Soldiers - Numbers - Soldiers - Risk

'It is unacceptable that serving soldiers, particularly large numbers of former soldiers, run the risk of prosecution as a result of operations conducted worldwide and including in Northern Ireland.

'Nobody is above the law. If soldiers have broken the law and if there is evidence to back up charges against them, then of course they must face the rigours of the law and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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