The advocacy charity for innocent victims of terrorism, Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW), is calling on the Government to ‘hit the pause button’ on legacy legislation.

The Lurgan-based organisation follows comments made by the former Chief Constable, Sir George Hamilton, who described the proposed move by the Government as ‘bonkers’ and ‘crazy.’

UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “Sir George’s comment on the proposed legacy legislation corresponds with our own views.

“For the former Chief Constable of the PSNI to describe what the Government is planning to do in such graphic language points to the folly of attempting to force through what is effectively an amnesty.

“What is suggested is a denial and a shocking injustice to victims of terrorism. The right to life, which implies the duty to investigate, is sacrosanct and should not be made into a political football. It may be politically expedient and convenient for Ministers to draw a line under the past, but abandoning all hope, however slim, of prosecuting killers is a shameful political manoeuvre.

“Sir George was the most senior police officer in Northern Ireland for five years and his salient, direct and pertinent comment should make the Government reflect and hit the ‘pause’ button.

“What the Government is planning is unacceptable and Sir George has said neither former officers nor military personnel want an amnesty.

“In my view, he has hit the nail on the head with his timely intervention. We must be able to investigate the past and not close the door to justice being done.”