Current investigation of historic crimes during 'The Troubles'
From August 1969 to July 2007 the British Armed Forces were deployed in Northern Ireland as part of Operation Banner. Their purpose was to support the police and help to maintain the rule of law during the period that has now come to be known as ‘The Troubles’.
The political situation in Northern Ireland has gone through a seismic change over the past 17 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Part of the political settlement has involved the creation of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET).
This was a unit within the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) that was created in 2005 to investigate the 3,269 unsolved murders committed in Northern Ireland, specifically between 1968 and 1998.
Due to austerity cutbacks the HET was replaced with the smaller PSNI Legacy Unit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-30533553 which is reopening the investigations into 1000 incidents including Bloody Sunday.
As part of these enquiries detectives are investigating incidents which took place during the troubles which resulted in the deaths of members of the public or terrorist organisations.
A number of these investigations will involve the police travelling to the mainland to take witness statements from or indeed interview under caution, ex-service personnel who may have been in some way involved in or the lead up to, these incidents.
Those invited to attend a police station to provide witness a statement in relation to such incidents must be very aware that their status can very quickly change from that of a witness to that of a suspect.
Anything they do say in the statement can be used in other investigations against other service personnel who may have been involved in the incident.
These investigations are not just restricted to those who are alleged to have been involved in the commission of the actual fatal incident but also ancillary matters in relation to same, such as the destruction of evidence after an incident as was reported on the BBC website on 2nd April 2015 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-32152385.
Forces Law is well aware of the difficulties that face ex-service personnel who may receive an unexpected telephone call from the PSNI to invite them for an interview to talk about an incident that may have happened 30-40 years ago.
Not only are they aware but they also have the ability to arrange legal representation with the appropriate jurisdictional knowledge and experience to best represent your interests should this situation ever arise.