A former British soldier could face a possible criminal probe into the death of an IRA member 47 years ago after a coroner ruled his killing was "unjustified".
Seamus Bradley, an IRA member, was shot dead in the Creggan area of Londonderry in July 1972 at the age of 19.
Troops from the Royal Scots Regiment had deployed to the area as part of Operation Motorman, an Army attempt to gain control of republican areas across Northern Ireland that had previously been considered no-go zones for the security forces.
The Army had claimed the teenager was shot while he was in a tree, armed with a machine gun, and suffered additional injuries as he fell.
However, his family alleged he was killed later, claiming he was taken away in an Army Saracen vehicle and alleging he sustained fatal injuries while being subjected to interrogation.
Judge Patrick Kinney, who was overseeing the inquest at Belfast Coroner's Court, rejected both those versions of events as he ruled Mr Bradley was killed by a soldier who got out of a Saracen vehicle, dropped to one knee and opened fire.
He also said he was satisfied Mr Bradley was not posing a threat at the time he was killed and that the soldier had breached the Army's "yellow card" rules about when they could open fire.
Declaring that the IRA man could have survived his injuries if he had been properly treated by soldiers at the time, the Coroner said he was going to send a report on the case to Northern Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions.
Although the Coroner had not been able to confirm the identity of the soldier involved, if he was still alive and could be identified the DPP could decide to press charges.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “We acknowledge the outcome delivered by the coroner into the death of Seamus Bradley and will now review the detailed findings”.
An original inquest in 1973 returned an open verdict and Northern Ireland's Attorney General ordered a fresh inquest in 2013.
"He was running across an open area of ground. He had no weapon. He was clearly visible and the fact he did not hold a weapon was clearly visible," Judge Kinney told the court.
"I am satisfied that the soldier who fired the shots could not have held an honest belief that firing on Seamus Bradley was absolutely necessary to protect either himself or others from being killed or seriously injured."
He said there was no evidence the decision to fire was made "in the heat of the moment or under particular pressure," but said there was no evidence to substantiate family claims of torture.
"I am satisfied that the force used was more than absolutely necessary in the circumstances. I therefore conclude that the use of force by the soldier who caused the death of Seamus Bradley was not justified," the coroner said.
Outside court Mr Bradley's family welcomed the verdict. His brother Danny, who has long campaigned for a fresh inquest, said he had faced down a threat from the IRA in Londonderry to pursue the inquest.
"I am happy with the verdict, very happy with the verdict," he said.
"As the judge said, it's 47 years [later] but it's a lot better than the last [inquest] verdict. I am happy that I went forward, even with threats from the IRA, and got this situation heard today."
Mr Bradley accused the Republican movement of letting down his brother by not co-operating with the inquest.
"I am disappointed in the Provisional IRA. I was threatened by the IRA not to take this case to court in Creggan and they told me the IRA hasn't gone away," he said.
"The IRA should have been [here] for us, I should have had about 30 [IRA] witnesses up there for my brother, and they let him down. He didn't let them down."