“This ruling does not mean that Joe McCann was not murdered by the British Army,” he told reporters. “He was shot in the back whilst unarmed, from a distance of 40 metres, posing no threat. It was easier to arrest him than to murder him.”
Joe McCann’s daughter, Aine, said the criminal justice system had failed in her father’s case as well as for many other families.
Statements the former soldiers made to the Royal Military Police in 1972 could not be accepted because of problems, including that the defendants were ordered to make them and they were not conducted under caution.
A second source of evidence — statements the two men gave to a police legacy unit in 2010 — was ruled not legitimate. The judge sided with defense lawyers on Friday, ruling that this evidence was just the 1972 evidence “dressed up and freshened up with a 2010 cover.”
Philip Barden, senior partner at the law firm representing soldiers A and C, said prosecutors should never have proceeded on the case. He said a senior judge should investigate the decision-making process “to ensure that the decision to prosecute these veterans was not political.”