A former British soldier will be charged with the 1972 murder of a Northern Ireland teenager, the province’s public prosecutor said on Monday.
Fifteen year-old Daniel Hegarty was shot twice in the head in the city of Derry on 31 July 1972.
He was killed by a British Army patrolman during an initiative to clear so-called “no-go” areas of the city at the height of the sectarian conflict known as “The Troubles”.
The veteran — referred to officially only as “Soldier B” — is also to be prosecuted for wounding Hegarty’s 17-year-old cousin.
“I have concluded that the evidence which can be presented at court is sufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction,” said Stephen Herron, director of public prosecutions for Northern Ireland.
In March, the prosecution service announced another former British soldier had been charged with murder over the “Bloody Sunday” killings in Derry — which took place the same year.
On January 30, 1972 British troops opened fire on a civil rights demonstration in the walled city, killing 13 people. A 14th victim later died of his wounds.
An ex-paratrooper was charged with murdering two people and the attempted murder of four others during a day widely cited as one of the darkest chapters in the Northern Ireland conflict.
The prosecution of historic crimes committed during “The Troubles” is controversial.
The 1998 Good Friday Agreement brought an end to the conflict and paved the way for the release of some 500 republican and loyalist paramilitaries from prison after serving short sentences.
But the British government recently indicated that they consider security forces veterans to be eligible for the same treatment — meaning prosecutions may not yield lengthy sentences.
Hundreds of bikers — many of them ex-soldiers — rode through central London on Friday in a show of solidarity with the ex-paratrooper charged in the “Bloody Sunday” case.