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East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson has said the collapse of the trial of two army veterans raises questions as to how the case managed to proceed to the point of a court case.

The case was described as relying on 1972 evidence "dressed up and freshened up with a new 2010 cover".

The DUP MP said, “This case was brought forward with no new evidence and without even a fresh interview carried out by police of the two men. It appears remarkable that the PPS were prepared to let this case proceed on evidence which they should have known would be inadmissible. In the determination to put these veterans on trial it seems little thought was given to proper justice.

It is a very clear example of the disparity of treatment between former members of our Armed Forces and those accused of terrorist offences. There simply would have been no question of such a case against someone suspected of a terrorist murder proceeding to such lengths. It is cases such as this which allow the phrase ‘witch hunt’ to be used with justification.

These two veterans should never have been brought before the court. It brings into very sharp focus the need for all those who served in Northern Ireland to have the equivalent level of protection provided to those who served their country overseas."