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Northern Irish AG Proposes End To Pre 1998 Prosecutions

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Northern Ireland’s Attorney General has proposed an end to prosecutions linked to events that took place during the Troubles before the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

John Larkin said the rule, which is bound to cause major controversy, should be applied to paramilitaries, the police force and the British army, who were responsible for the death of 3,500 people during three decades of conflict.

Larkin believes the chances of a successful conviction are forever fading as time passes.

“It strikes me that the time has come to think about putting a line, set at Good Friday 1998, with respect to prosecutions, inquests and other inquiries.”

Larkin insisted his proposal was not a full amnesty as the crime committed would remain a crime albeit one that would go unpunished.

He noted that current investigation methods were very good but that they were not matched by those which could bring paramilitaries to account for their heinous crimes.

Larkin also believes such a stance may lead to families finding out more about the deaths of their loved ones.

“We can’t really be surprised if people don’t tell us as long as the theoretical threat of prosecution remains,” he said.

Image courtesy of theguardian.com

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