Mix up puts judge and lawyers in different courts 70 miles apart for Bloody Sunday Soldier F hearing

The presiding judge was waiting in Derry for the case to be heard.

The scheduled resumption of the prosecution of a military veteran for two murders on Bloody Sunday has been adjourned for 24 hours after a mix up over what court it was due to be heard in.

While prosecution and defence lawyers in the case involving Soldier F were directed to attend court in Belfast on Tuesday morning, the district judge presiding over the case was sent to Londonderry.

A lawyer explained the error to a judge who was sitting in Belfast Magistrates Court.

"We understand this case has essentially been listed in error before your worship this morning," he said.

"District Judge Magill of course has had conduct of the case, but essentially he has been sent to Londonderry this morning and we are here.

"In those circumstances rather than trouble your worship with any substantive matter we understand the proposal of the court is the matter be listed before District Judge Magill tomorrow in court nine in this building (Laganside Courts, Belfast)."

Asked for comment, the Courts Service said: "On 16 August 2022, the case was listed for mention and was adjourned to today’s date for a further mention.

"In between these dates, however, the PPS statement about the recommencement of the prosecution issued. Today’s mention remained in the list in Belfast and when this was brought to the judge’s attention today, was adjourned until tomorrow. It is now listed before the judge who has carriage of the committal proceedings.”

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