Campaign for jailed Guards attacks lethargy on review

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A group campaigning for the early release of two Scots Guards who were jailed for life for killing a Belfast man while on patrol today accused the Northern Ireland office of "dragging their feet" over reviewing the case.

Supporters of soldiers Jim Fisher and Mark Wright have condemned civil servants and the prison service for "lethargy" in examining the case after High Court judge Mr Justice Girvan ordered a review of the sentence last December. And ex-soldier General Murray Naylor who is leading the campaign called on Northern Ireland secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew to release the two men before the General Election.Wright, 23, from Arbroath and Fisher, 28, from Ayr, have been in custody since they shot dead unarmed Peter McBride while on patrol in the Province in 1992. They were sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of murdering McBride. The trial had heard that they thought the youth was carrying a coffee-jar bomb.

The men's supporters say they have the backing of hundreds of ex-servicemen who have written to their MPs about the case. The release group is planning to send a delegation to Downing Street to hand over letters of support to the Prime Minister.