[Sinn Fein]

12 December 2000

British Army Board Revise History to Allow Killers to Remain

North Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly has hit out at the reasons given by the British army for keeping the convicted killers of New Lodge teenager Peter McBride in the British army.

Mr Kelly said:

``The reasons given by the British army board for retaining Mark Wright and James Fisher clearly show that they were intent on ignoring any legal ruling and revising history in order to create the conditions to allow these two men back into the British army.

``To claim that both men were suitable to return to the British army because `...their conduct in custody had been exemplary', and that they were `young and inexperienced' defies belief. This ignores the fact that both men shot dead a man who they knew to be unarmed because they had already searched him. They then lied to cover up their actions, a point which the judge noted''.

He concluded, ``The British army have revised history to allow two killers to remain in their ranks in a clearly calculated insult to the McBride family and the nationalist people. These two men, convicted of murder, will now be rearmed and could be sent throughout the world to repeat their actions safe in the knowledge that their superiors believe that their actions made them `exemplary' ``

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