Elliott AG Inquest decision ‘a major advance’

The family of a murdered UDR soldier and Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW) have welcomed the decision by the Attorney General to open a new Inquest into his death.

Corporal James Elliott was abducted in 1972 at the border in Newry while driving his lorry. Thirty hours later his body was dumped on the side of a road in Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh, as a lure for a further attack on security forces.

The Attorney General, Dame Brenda King, informed in writing the law firm representing the Elliott family and UHRW of her direction to hold a fresh Inquest.

Corporal Elliott’s son, Jim, said: “This letter confirming a new Inquest is a big boost to all of us in our efforts to get justice.

“My father was savagely attacked by terrorists and we want to hold the guilty ones to account and to tell the world what these thugs and criminals did.

“I welcome the Attorney General’s decision and look forward to these new legal proceedings taking place.”

UHRW Advocacy worker, Jonathan Larner, said the decision must not be derailed by any new Legacy Bill.

Mr Larner said: “The Elliott family have every right to have this matter properly examined by a Coroner. Their father deserves no less.

“Any new legacy legislation cannot be allowed to deny justice to this brave soldier. Many want to draw a line under the past and support this Bill currently before Parliament. However, if it goes through, there’s a very real danger this new Inquest will be halted and the Elliotts once again denied their day in court.

“The family have been dignified and determined in their decades-long campaign and for that they are to be commended.

“Ulster Human Rights Watch appreciate this decision by the AG for Northern Ireland, which is a major advance in the case. It is also an encouragement for victims of terrorism to seek justice done and acknowledgement for what they have suffered.”

UHRW renews demand for Public Inquiry into La Mon atrocity

Survivors and relatives of the La Mon bombing have gathered to mark the forty-fifth anniversary of the terrorist atrocity.

Twelve people perished and thirty were injured in the PIRA incendiary bomb attack.

The group gathered at Lisburn Civic Centre and took part in a short religious Service followed by the laying of floral tributes at a seat bench which commemorates the horrific event.

The event was organised by Ulster Human Rights Watch which advocates and campaigns on behalf of innocent victims of terrorism.

UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “This annual commemoration is a solemn occasion when we can remember those innocent people who were murdered and those who were left with appalling, life-changing burn injuries.

“This was cold-blooded savagery that should never be forgotten. We have asked for a Public Inquiry into what happened and have been met with rejection and delays at every turn.

“We find this inexplicable as do the victims and survivors of La Mon, and their wider family circles.

“Today, we renew our demand for a Public Inquiry to get answers to important questions around those involved and alleged collusion. The people we represent deserve nothing less.

“We have people who continue to live with horrific injuries. For them, there should be full disclosure of information held by the Police, and even if there is only the slenderest of prospects to secure convictions, then that should be pursued to conclusion.

Click here to see Belfast Telegraph report


Withdraw ‘indecent and callous’ legacy Bill – UHRW

Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW) is calling on the Government to withdraw what it says is the ‘indecent and callous’ legacy Bill.

UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “The Government should realise that it has driven into a cul-de-sac with its Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill. It should also realise that it would be a sign of strength if it took this Bill off the table.

“UHRW isn’t interested in heaving embarrassment on the Government but rather persuading Ministers this Bill is a travesty and defective. It’s an indecent and callous draft law and one that should never see the light of day in its present form, unless amended as suggested in UHRW submission.

“Innocent victims and families are bereft and feel marginalised and ignored. So far, they haven’t been listened to or shown any consideration by Ministers.

“We’re at the eleventh hour but there’s still time to do the decent thing. The Government should be on the side of innocent victims of terrorism and not creating the circumstances where a line would be drawn under appalling acts in the past with victims and their families denied any prospect of justice.”

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