**brits didn't worry about 'appropriateness' when they murdered the people in Derry, or anywhere else for that matter

Prisoner release call is rejected

Soldiers shot 13 people dead in Derry on Bloody Sunday

It would be "inappropriate" for the secretary of state to release a man jailed for contempt of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, the NIO has said.

A motion calling on Paul Murphy to secure the release of Martin Doherty was passed by Derry City Council.

He was jailed for three months for refusing to testify to the tribunal investigating the 1972 shootings.

An NIO spokesman said Mr Murphy intervening in "a judicial matter" would be inappropriate.

Doherty, 49, from Fanad Drive in the Creggan area of Londonderry was sentenced to three months for refusing to co-operate with the inquiry.

He was given time to change his mind but when he did not contact the tribunal to make a statement, he was arrested to begin his sentence.

Standing orders

Doherty, who was known in court as PIRA 9, was the first person to be jailed in connection with the tribunal.

During a suspension of standing orders at Derry City Council on Tuesday, Sinn Fein and SDLP councillors passed a motion that the Northern Ireland Secretary should intervene to secure Mr Doherty's release. Unionists voted against the motion.

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry has been looking into the events of Bloody Sunday on 31 January, 1972, when paratroops shot dead 13 men.

It is due to sit in London at the end of this month to hear the evidence of a man known only as Witness X.

The tribunal will sit in a video conference room at the Royal Courts of Justice on 27 January with Witness X giving evidence by video link from a different location.

Witness X denies telling the police in 1972 that he was a member of the Provisional IRA and that he fired two magazines from a carbine rifle from Glenfada Park on Bloody Sunday.

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