The retired judge who led the inquiry into the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry, has expressed reservations about a proposal to prevent the prosecution of British Army personnel after a set period. 

Current plans to strengthen legal protections for military personnel who served on overseas operations such as Iraq and Afghanistan would not apply to Northern Ireland.

However, senior members of the Conservative party, including new Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, support the amnesty being extended to cover veterans of the Troubles.

Ms Mordaunt said she hoped the measures could offer a way forward for those who served during the Troubles.

"I do think it should cover Northern Ireland," she said during a conference at the Royal United Services Institute earlier this week.

Among those facing prosecution in relation to the Troubles is a former soldier, known as Soldier F, who has been charged with the killing of two people during Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Lord Saville said it is very important to look at the circumstances of each individual case.

He said if you try and put a blanket rule in place, you are quite likely to cause injustice, either to the individuals being threatened with prosecution or to those who suffered loss from the action of the person concerned.

Asked about the notion of some sort of statute of limitations, Lord Saville said: "I don't really have a view on it because it is a difficult question and it is a political question."

He said: "There are very strong views on both sides - those families who have lost members through the action of soldiers can say with considerable justice that the soldiers should face a trial if they appear to have committed a criminal offence.

"On the other side, as the years and indeed the decades go by, it can be said that it is starting to become unfair that soldiers should face such prosecutions so long after the event."

Lord Saville said: "These are difficult questions, but they are questions that call for a political answer and I am not a politician."