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  1. ITV Report

Murder case delayed as ex-soldiers bid for anonymity

A threat assessment is to be examined as part of attempts to secure anonymity for two ex-soldiers charged with murdering Joe McCann 45 years ago.

The defendants, known as Soldier A and Soldier C, are facing prosecution for the killing of McCann in April 1972.

McCann, one of the Official IRA's most prominent activists, was shot dead by an army patrol in the Markets area of Belfast.

No-one was prosecuted at the time however a 2013 report by the now defunct Historical Enquiries Team concluded the killing wasn't justified.

The files were then passed on to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) and last year, it was decided that the surviving members of the army patrol should be charged with murder.

The district judge adjourned the proceedings saying that there were serious matters to consider and if the decisison is taken to name the soldiers, who are now in their 60s, it can't be undone.

Four days have been set aside in March to deal with the anonymity application and the preliminary inquiry.