Veterans: Prosecutions

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 17th May 2019.

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Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether her Department plans to introduce new protections to safeguard veterans from prosecution in relation to historic killings.

Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if her Department will introduce a statute of limitations covering potential offences committed by veterans.

Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans she has to bring forward legislative proposals to protect veterans accused of historic allegations relating to service in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) intends to undertake a public consultation on legal protections measures for personnel deployed on operations overseas, including a statutory presumption against prosecution of current or former personnel for alleged offences committed in the course of duty abroad more than 10 years previously. Prosecutions in such circumstances would not be considered to be in the public interest, except in “exceptional circumstances”. The presumption measure would not apply to historical alleged offences in Northern Ireland. The Secretary of State for Defence will continue to work with the Northern Ireland Secretary on the proposals for addressing Northern Ireland legacy issues. The MOD provides veterans, including those who served in Northern Ireland, who are subject to investigation and potential prosecution with legal, welfare and pastoral support.

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