Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“This afternoon during interviews on the OTR report at Stormont I mentioned the fact that “someone in this building” had a Royal Pardon. Moments later I was on Talk Back with Gerry Kelly and asked him directly if he had a Royal Pardon.
“Somewhat surprisingly given the Sinn Fein subterfuge and evasion which has characterised the OTR scandal Kelly answered my question directly and confirmed he has indeed received a pardon from Her Majesty the Queen.
“How ironic that the Old Bailey bomber – who showed no mercy to person killed and almost 200 others wounded by his bomb – should receive a pardon from the Queen whose rule he was bent on destroying!
“This is the first time that this information has come into the public domain and I have today written to the Secretary of State demanding answers on what exactly Kelly was pardoned for.
“Why did he never stand trail for his offence of escaping from prison? Why, on his return to the UK, did Kelly only serve two and a half years of the two life sentences plus twenty years which he received for causing explosions and conspiracy to cause explosions?
“Did Kelly receive a pardon for the Old Bailey attack?
“These are all issues which I have written to the NIO about and will be demanding answers in the days ahead.
“Let’s not forget that the OTR scheme and the granting of Royal Pardons has caused immense hurt to innocent victims yet the DUP not so long ago elevated Kelly to the position of junior Minister in OFMdFM – where he was responsible for victims issues!
“This latest revelation is yet another reminder of the “peace process’s” heart of darkness. In a few weeks’ time TUV will offer the people of Northern Ireland the opportunity to say enough is enough at the general election.”