The Labour Party leader said the law “must apply to everyone” when was quizzed over the Bloody Sunday shooting, during which 13 unarmed civilians were killed by British soldiers in Northern Ireland’s Londonderry. But his remarks were met with anger by those siding with veterans and the victims of the IRA, whose suspected terrorists were granted amnesty by former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Matthew Jury, of McCue & Partners, who is representing the families of the 11 victims of the Hyde Park bombings, told MailOnline: “Shamefully, Corbyn and co continue to stand by Blair’s outrageous decision to do a back-room deal with the IRA to grant terrorists on-the-run effective amnesty – and remember, whatever their protestations, this was not a part of the Good Friday Agreement.
“All the while they sermonise about no one being above the law. They can’t have it both ways.
“If they’re going to demonise and pillory Britain’s veterans, then they must also back, not only an unequivocal revocation of the on-the-run letters, but a swooping up of the terrorists themselves to finally face justice.”
Mr Corbyn branded the Bloody Sunday shooting, which took place on January 30 1972, “awful and appalling”.
He said “we should have a fair and proper judicial process”, telling Sky News presenter Sophy Ridge: “The law must apply to everyone, and I don’t think we should have statutory limitations on this.
“I do think it’s important to have the independence of a legal process, and there has to be an insurance that everyone has to abide by the law.”
The leader of the opposition’s comment came days after the Public Prosecution Service decided to prosecute a man, known as Soldier F, for the alleged murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the alleged attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell, who were taking part to a civil rights march.
Former servicemen said to be outraged by this move.
Alan Barry, founder of Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans, said: “Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, veterans are being left open to prosecution while terrorists have been cleansed of their past crimes.”
The British Government said it will cover the legal costs of the trial of the soldier.