BRITISH paratroopers face being charged over the killings of 14 civil rights demonstrators during the Bloody Sunday atrocity after police handed over legal files to prosecutors.

The deaths of the demonstrators in Londonderry after paratroopers opened fire in 1972 are being reinvestigated by police after a public inquiry found the victims innocent.

Thirteen people were killed by members of the Parachute Regiment on the day of the incident in Derry’s Bogside, while another victim died in hospital four months later.

Northern Ireland police launched a murder investigation in 2012 after a Government-commissioned inquiry, carried out by Lord Saville, found none of the victims was posing a threat to soldiers when they were shot.

Following the publication of the report, then prime minister David Cameron apologised for the army’s actions, branding them “unjustified and unjustifiable”.

A spokesman for the familes said that relatives of those killed want to see British soldiers prosecuted for their actions on the day, which some campaigners claim was murder.

However, a petition calling for the soldiers involved in the Bloody Sunday atrocity to be granted immunity from prosecution has gained tens of thousands of supporters.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison said: “Police have concluded interviews with former military personnel and are in the process of compiling a report for the PPS (Public Prosecution Service). The families have been informed of this and we will continue to keep them updated in relation to developments.”

Three judges at London’s High Court blocked the arrest and transfer to Northern Ireland of the former soldiers who faced questioning over whether they committed criminal offences.

The judges said there was no reason why the seven ex-soldiers could not be interviewed in England and Wales where they all live. The atrocity saw an escalation of the Northern Ireland troubles, which continued until the Good Friday agreement was signed in 1998, which brought an end to the violence although the peace process remains relatively fragile. Stormont Assembly member and civil rights campaigner Eamon McCann said effectively all the families supported prosecutions and welcomed the conclusion of the police interviews.

He said: “This is another staging post that we have reached. It is positive news in that sense and a lot of people thought we would never reach this stage.”