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Page last updated at 08:11 GMT, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 09:11 UK

Prosecutors 'should consider perjury charges'

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Michael Mansfield QC, who represented some of the victims' families at the Bloody Sunday inquiry has told the Today programme that prosecutors should consider whether some of the witnesses should be charged with perjury.

In his report on the shooting dead of thirteen people in Londonderry in 1972, Lord Saville said some of the soldiers involved had given false accounts of their actions. During the inquiry witnesses were given immunity from incriminating themselves, but that did not cover perjury.

Mr Mansfield told Today presenter James Naughtie: "I do think, given the strength and clarity of the conclusions where invented stories or falsehoods were told... because the rule of law has been flagrantly breached on this occasion by a number of soldiers on a number of UK citizens... that consideration should be given to a prosecution.

"Now, I'm not saying whether they should actually be prosecuted, but certainly serious consideration."

The former head of the army General Sir Mike Jackson, who was a Captain in the Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday, has been accused of lying about what happened.

He told the programme that the Saville Report shows that is not true. "I don't lie and I gave evidence on those to Lord Saville and I'm afraid rather more has been made of a mechanical compilation of the first attempt to put together a sequence of firing on that dreadful afternoon has resulted in this allegation.

"And I now quote from chapter 165, paragraph 10: 'We accept Captain Jackson's evidence of the purpose for which the list was initially prepared and find nothing sinister in it.'"


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