Investigation into Scots Guards reunion ridiculous and disturbing: DUP MPs

DUP MPs Gregory Campbell and Ian Paisley have described an attempt to refer a Scots Guards Reunion to the police as ridiculous and disturbing. They also questioned whether the intention behind a request to investigate was made to cast suspicion over everyone who served in the armed forces.

By Gregory Campbell MP

East Londonderry

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Gregory Campbell said, "The premise of the letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions is absurd. Unlike terrorist groups, our armed forces kept records. Those who were serving during any particular incident are recorded and are available to those carrying out any appropriate investigation.

The idea that targeting an event where former soldiers are meeting in a social setting would somehow identify an individual alleged to have been engaged in wrongdoing 50 years ago is not just ridiculous but disturbing. Many people may question whether the rationale behind the letter was aimed more at securing evidence of alleged wrongdoing, or simply part of attempting to cast a cloud over all who served in our armed forces.

It is incumbent upon the PPS to explain why they have referred such a dubious case to the police for further investigation and for the police to quickly outline what action, if any, they propose to take. We have seen in the very recent past the PPS attempting to take forward the prosecution of veterans based on evidence that was clearly and obviously inadmissible. We also know the Public Prosecution Service couldn't manage to identify a single person who had broken the law when republicans brought thousands of people onto the streets during the pandemic and when the evidence wasn't just recorded but broadcast on national television.

My colleague Trevor Clarke MLA is writing to the Chief Constable to establish whether they have received any other contact in relation to this matter, and to confirm whether an investigation will take place. The police have a duty not just to operate fairly, and to take forward an investigation without a proper basis would not just breach that, but further damage fragile public confidence."

Ian Paisley said, "The Public Prosecution Service appear to have set an interesting precedent that they believe a social gathering should be investigated by the PSNI despite there being no evidence of wrongdoing either at the event or by anyone who attended.

The statement that there may be an opportunity to "get access to who said what at the event and see if it is of any evidential weight" is a clear admission that the whole enterprise is a fishing expedition yet the PPS have acquiesced.

It would be interesting to note not just whether the PPS would take the same approach to any republican social gathering where there will inevitably be former members of the IRA present. Also, when there has been no meaningful action taken against masked gunmen firing shots at terrorist funerals, the idea that former soldiers eating curry should be a priority for investigation would be beyond belief."

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