A further short hearing took place this morning in the civil case brought by Stan Carberry against the British Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The case had been listed for two days later this week for two former soldiers involved in the shooting incident in which Stanislaus Carberry was shot on 13 November 1972 to give their evidence. At the 11th hour, the Carberry family’s legal team were informed that the two witnesses would not now attend voluntarily. This extraordinarily late announcement is yet more discourtesy from the MoD (the defendants) who have delayed and prevaricated throughout.
Judge McAlinden has bent over backwards to facilitate the soldiers and the MoD. He has also warned the MoD that if it provides no current evidence there is little weight that can be given to historic accounts. Today the Judge commented that he would be disappointed if the MoD, a public body, decided not to subpoena the soldiers to attend at court, pointing out that the court wanted to rely on the best evidence available in seeking the truth about the incident. He therefore encouraged the MoD to issue a summons to the two witnesses to force them to attend and – if they so wished – apply to answer questions anonymously.
Needless to say, the Carberry family is extremely frustrated. Having expected to see the case through to a conclusion by the end of this week, they now have further delay. It is to be hoped that the case will now complete on the 31st January, the latest listing by the Judge.
This has been a hugely anxious, traumatic, and at times emotionally stressful period for the Carberry family. The strategy deployed by the MoD and these former soldiers can only be described as torturous and cynical.
To have pursued a strategy of going to the court door and at the last minute refusing to take the stand is playing with and manipulating the family’s emotions and feelings.
Stan Carberry, son of the victim, said: “It seems these soldiers and the MoD have much to avoid and hide in the deliberate killing of our Daddy. All the heartache could have been avoided for our family. We can only view this as a deliberately vindictive decision to cause us further hurt. We thank all those who have supported us.”