A Northern Ireland law firm is helping the family of Iraqis who were killed by American soldiers at a checkpoint in Baghdad in early August.

Madden & Finucane represents most of the families of the people killed in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday. The Belfast firm, started by Pat Finucane who was shot dead in 1989 by loyalist paramilitaries, last week despatched a threeman delegation to Iraq as part of their plans for a £9.5 million suit in the American civil courts after four members of a family were shot dead at an American checkpoint in Baghdad’s Salsa’ district on August 7.

Richie McRitchie, one of the firm’s solicitors, said yesterday: “From our experience in Northern Ireland, when unarmed civilians are killed by soldiers, it creates resentment which only intensifies the conflict. Our experience in seeking justice in cases in Northern Ireland is invaluable in similar situations such as this.”

PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde yesterday lashed out at lawyers who he said are making fortunes out of public inquiries in Northern Ireland.

“Do we continue to go down this piecemeal approach and make the lawyers even more rich? I think they need to take a step back and look at how we can bring some sort of understanding to the past.”

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