By Jake Hurfurt For The Daily Mail
Published: 01:03 GMT, 2 March 2019 | Updated: 01:29 GMT, 2 March 2019
Army veterans involved in Bloody Sunday could be charged with murder within days.
Seventeen ex-soldiers, the oldest of whom is 77, remain under investigation over the shootings in Londonderry 47 years ago.
Prosecutors in Northern Ireland are to meet families of the victims on March 14 before announcing whether the former paratroopers will stand trial. They face charges ranging from perjury to murder.
Members of the Parachute Regiment shot dead 14 unarmed civilians in Derry in January 1972
The soldiers opened fire on the civil rights marchers who were protesting against internment without charge
‘There are four soldiers most at risk of being charged with murder,’ a source told the Daily Telegraph. ‘I fear prosecutors will throw the book at everybody and see what sticks ... it seems a complete waste of money to pursue troops almost 50 years on.’
The Mail has long campaigned against a witch-hunt of British troops. Their treatment stands in stark contrast to members of the IRA who, under the Good Friday Agreement of 1999, face a maximum of two years in prison for atrocities during the Troubles.
One soldier facing two charges of attempted murder, who can only be identified as Sergeant O, is accused of firing into the air and hitting brickwork which may have fallen and injured civilians.
Some 17 former members of the Parachute Regiment will discover later this month if they will face charges in connection with the January 1972 incident which claimed 14 lives
Soldiers rounded up hundreds of people but did not find any firearms on the dead victims
He said: ‘It is a worry. It just niggles away.’ However, he added: ‘I am in my late 70s. I am in God’s waiting room. There is not a lot they can do to me.’ The group of 17 have been left in limbo since 2016, when they were interviewed under police caution. An 18th veteran was also interviewed, but died before Christmas.
The criminal investigation began following the 12-year inquiry led by Lord Saville, which ended in 2010. Costing £200million, it concluded troops ‘lost control’ on