Downey Case – The Stormont Fallout

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:

“First and foremost my thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones in the IRA’s Hyde Park bombing, and all other victims of the 187 afforded amnesty. They have been cruelly denied justice because of a sordid deal with a Government which evidently viewed keeping the corrupt “peace process” on track as more important than securing justice for the citizens whose primary duty it was to defend.

“Due process, the courts and Parliament have all be subverted by this dirty deal with Sinn Fein. The skullduggery which lies at the heart of the peace process has yet again been exposed.

“We deserve to get some answers.

“It is highly suspicious that the rate of success in relation to applications to the scheme were so high. We need a full inquiry and the 187 (or whatever the number is) need to be named. Operation ‘Rapid’ may have been well named, because it seems to have dumbed down any semblance of checking.

“Gregory Campbell says that the DUP knows nothing of any deal. This is contradicted in Jonathan Powell’s memoirs where he alleges that Peter Robinson, Nigel Dodds and Ian Paisley told the Government “they could accept the implementation of the unpopular undertakings we had made under the Joint Declaration on OTRs as long as Tony wrote to Paisley making clear that these concessions had been agreed during David Trimble’s watch not theirs.”

“But if the DUP didn’t (and don’t) accept the deal, the question which naturally arises is why now sustain the deal, especially as it is now administered by the devolved government?

“A line in the Secretary of State’s statement on the judgment yesterday deserves to be explored. She told us that, “The current government reviewed the scheme and decided that any future requests should be referred to the devolved authorities in Northern Ireland”.

“Has Stormont therefore processed any such requests and sent out get out of jail free cards as well? I have today tabled a priority written question to Justice Minister David Ford seeking to establish the truth in relation to this matter.

“It is also essential that we find out what steps have been taken to inform the families of victims that persons suspected of involvement in the crimes causing them to be victims have been provided with these letters.

“Finally, having been conned once over ‘dealing with the past’, if they were conned, I would call on DUP and UUP to forthwith disengage from the Haass process, which is equally designed to placate the insatiable demands of IRA/Sinn Fein and will equally pervert the rights of innocent victims.”

Note to editors

Mr Allister has tabled a Matter of the Day in an attempt to raise the  fallout of the Downey case in the Assembly on Monday.

He has also tabled the following written questions on the issue:

To ask OFMDFM what steps are being taken, given the revelation that the devolved government is now overseeing, in respect of applications since policing and justice was devolved, the “administrative scheme” exposed by the judgement of R-v-Downey.

To ask DOJ how many requests have there been under “the administrative scheme”, as referred to in the judgement in R-v-Downey, since policing and justice was devolved and with what outcomes.

To ask DOJ what steps have been taken to inform the families of victims that persons suspected of involvement in the crimes causing them to be victims, that such persons have been given “comfort letters” that they are no longer being sought for prosecution.

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