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John Larkin has insisted that his suggestion of an end to prosecutions does not constitute a formal amnesty and it would aid relatives who wanted to find out the truth:
He implied that in the absence of legal proceedings, relatives of the dead would have a better chance of discovering what had happened to their loved ones.
"We can't really be surprised if people don't tell us as long as the theoretical threat of prosecution remains," he said.
Northern Ireland's Attorney General said that the chances of a conviction so many years after the events in question are now extremely low, and that it is time to "take stock".
John Larkin told the BBC:
Northern Ireland's Attorney General John Larkin has called for an end to prosecutions relating killings that took place during the Troubles in his country.
He said the measure would entail drawing a line under police investigations, inquests and inquiries into any relevant killings that took place before the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
He said the proposal was a logical consequence of the Agreement and denied it was a formal amnesty, but conceded that many will interpret it as one.
More than 3,500 people were killed during three decades of conflict in Northern Ireland.
Latest ITV News reports
The PM said such a move would be 'rather dangerous' whilst none of the political parties in Northern Ireland supported the proposal.