IL RAPPORTO SULLA BLOODY SUNDAY IN CODA ALLE ELEZIONI
Potrebbe avvenire dopo le elezioni la consegna al Segretario di Stato del rapporto Saville sulla Bloody Sunday
Il tanto atteso rapporto sulla chiusura delle indagini sulla Bloody Sunday potrebbe vedere la luce solo dopo le elezioni.
Il 22 marzo è la data prevista per la consegna del rapporto firmato da Lord Saville (4.500 pagine) nelle mani di Shaun Woodward, Segretario di Stato dell’Irlanda del Nord.
Tenuto conto delle 2 settimane che potrebbe necessitare un’approvazione per ragioni legali e di sicurezza, il rapporto potrebbe rimanere secretato fino a dopo le elezioni se queste venissero confermate il giorno 6 maggio, come voluto da Gordon Brown.
Ci sarà quindi nulla o poco tempo per discutere ciò che è certo di essere un rapporto controverso. Il governo infatti si chiude usualmente in una sorta di ‘segregazione’ nelle settimane antecedenti le elezioni.
Furiose le reazioni dei parenti delle vittime della strage del 30 gennaio 1972.
Tony Doherty, portavoce delle famiglie, ha dichiarato: “La relazione sarà nelle mani degli ufficiali del Northern Ireland Office per diversi mesi, senza alcun controllo politico. E’ una prospettiva spaventosa per le famiglie in quanto riteniamo che la relazione cadrà vittima di perdita selettiva e di un utilizzo di parte, molto prima di vedere la luce del giorno.”
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Election may delay Bloody Sunday report (U TV)
The long-awaited report of the Bloody Sunday inquiry is completed, but in danger of falling victim to the general election timetable, the Guardian has learned.
The inquiry chairman, Lord Saville, is due to hand the document – believed to run to 4,500 pages – to Shaun Woodward, the Northern Ireland secretary, in the week of 22 March.
However, government officials say they may need two weeks to vet it for security and legal reasons before it is tabled in parliament and published.
That period is almost certain to clash with the parliamentary timetable. If, as expected, Gordon Brown calls for a 6 May election, parliament is likely to be prorogued towards the end of March before the Easter weekend at the beginning of April.
There will be little or no time to debate what is certain to be a contentious report. The problem could be compounded because the government goes into a state of “purdah”, when traditionally no major political decisions or announcements are made, once an election has been called.
The prospect of further delay has infuriated relatives of the 13 civil rights marchers shot dead by British paratroopers in Derry’s Bogside on 30 January 1972. A 14th man, who was among the injured, died later in hospital.
Twelve years after the inquiry was announced, and at a cost of £200m, the report – including evidence from about 1,000 witnesses and said to stand almost six feet tall when volumes of evidence are stacked up – has been finished.
Relatives of the victims have been gathering in Derry this month for regular meetings to prepare for publication of the report.
“We are entering a crucial phase,” said Tony Doherty, a spokesman for the families, whose father, Patrick, was killed on Bloody Sunday. “We would like this report to be published for everyone at the same time. That was the precedent with the Hutton report [into the death of the government’s Iraqi weapons expert, David Kelly].”
He added: “We have asked that the [vetting process] include qualified judicial figures who command confidence and will protect the integrity of the report … there is little or no chance of the families receiving it this side of an election.”
Doherty continued: “The report will be in the hands of Northern Ireland Office officials for several months, without any political control from above. This is a frightening prospect for the families as we believe that the report will fall victim to selective leakage and other partisan usage, long before it sees the light of day.”
Kate Nash, 60, lost her younger brother, William. “I’m very anxious about the outcome of the report. We are unsure how the government are going to handle the report. Why at this stage would they turn it into a fiasco?”
Eamonn McCann, chairman of the Bloody Sunday Trust, said: “If this report is presented after the election is declared it will be put into purdah. It’s going to be a huge report.
“The reason the inquiry took so long is that unlike almost every other atrocity in Northern Ireland, this happened in broad daylight in front of thousands of witnesses. There were 27 separate killings and woundings. Each one will have a separate mini-report and individual finding. It was the brazeness of the atrocity that dictated the length of the inquiry.”
The Northern Ireland Office said it had to respect its obligations to parliament and would contact the families when it knew the date of publication.
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