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News Letter 09/06/10

The Saville Inquiry report on Bloody Sunday will be published on the internet next Tuesday afternoon, the government has confirmed.

Prime Minister David Cameron will address the House of Commons at 3.30pm, after which the vast £191 million, 5,000-page report will be published on the inquiry website,

The report into the events of Sunday, April 19, 1972, in which 14 men were shot dead by the Army in controversial circumstances, will bring to an end the 12-year inquiry process begun by the then prime minister Tony Blair in 1998.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell yesterday demanded that the report, believed to be between 20 and 30 million words long, be published on the internet for free.

The DUP MP said: “The government should be making it available online free of charge as well as in libraries.

“And for those seeking a hard copy there should not be an exorbitant fee which will generate little money as virtually no one will be able to afford to purchase a copy.”

But, responding to his call, the government said that it had already been decided that the report would be made available on the internet on the day when it is published.

Government documents are generally published online for free but paper copies have to be bought through the government’s official publisher, The Stationary Office.

But Mr Campbell said he believed that the government should pay to make the report available in paper format for free distribution to any interested parties.

“As if to add insult to injury after costing almost £200 million to conduct the inquiry the general public are to be asked to pay such huge amounts whilst lawyers and political parties could receive the document for free.

“It would be completely unacceptable for the general public to be asked to pay what I understand could be as much as £400 or more for a copy of the Saville report.

“There are a number of lawyers who have earned millions from the public purse through the course of this inquiry.

“It is wholly inappropriate for example if these lawyers were to get their copies for free, and the tax-paying public forced to pay hundreds of pounds for this document should they wish to buy it.”

Secretary of state Owen Paterson, who has been highly critical of the Labour government’s costly and open-ended inquiries into the past in Northern Ireland, said that he was attempting to have the report published as sensitively as possible.

He said that families of both soldiers and those killed and injured on Bloody Sunday would have access to the mammoth report at a secure location seven and a half hours before the prime minister delivers his statement to the Commons.

Five hours before the report is published some politicians and lawyers for the families and soldiers will have access to the report at secure locations, he said.

Mr Paterson said that neither he nor any other member of the government will receive the report until 24 hours prior to the prime minister’s statement.

He said: “I have not seen the report and will not do so until 24 hours before publication.

“To anybody who might want to speculate on the contents I would urge them wait until next Tuesday when they will be able to comment on the actual report.”

Troops Out Movement

Campaigning for British Withdrawal from Ireland

PO Box 1032 Birmingham B12 8BZ  Tel: 0121 773 8683 Mob: 0797 017 4167

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