TROUBLES veterans should face no more investigations unless new evidence comes to light, the Defence Secretary said yesterday.
Ben Wallace said those who served during the 38-year war in Northern Ireland should be enjoying retirement and not fearing a knock on the door.
But he ruled out amnesties for the hundreds already being probed.
Mr Wallace, who served with the Scots Guards in Belfast in 1992, joined veterans, many in their 60s and 70s, to mark the conflict’s 50th anniversary.
Hundreds stood in the rain at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire as they remembered the 1,441 service personnel who died in Ulster.
Mr Wallace said he believed many new inquests into IRA deaths will not uncover anything new.
Although hundreds of veterans are still being investigated, he said the number of probes is tiny – compared to the 300,000 who served in Operation Banner.
It is understood he is working behind the scenes to protect veterans from being pursued by investigators - unless new evidence emerges.
He said veterans “should be incredibly proud that militarily and politically they defeated the terrorists”.
Chelsea Pensioner David Griffin, 78, was among those who stayed away from the ceremony.
For nearly eight years he has been under investigation after leading an ambush set up to catch an IRA gang in which a teenager died.
He said: “I’ve been under a cloud for years. The Defence Secretary can end the torment I have suffered.”