Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“On 26th February Peter Robinson told us:
“I want a full judicial inquiry into all of these matters so we can see who knew, when they knew and what they knew. Those are vital questions to be asked and answered. I want to know who the 187 people are that received these letters – if indeed it is only 187 people because I wouldn’t believe anything I hear any longer. I want to know who they are, what crimes they were believed to have committed because don’t forget justice isn’t just about whether the police at that moment in time have sufficient evidence to make a prosecution stick because as time goes on forensics may change, new evidence may come in where a prosecution could take place so it is absolutely vital that nobody is allowed to think they can get away with it. That’s why I want all the letters rescinded.”
“Letters exchanged between a senior NIO official and the Lord Chief Justice reveal that the review announced by the Prime Minister and trumpeted by the DUP will do none of what Mr Robinson demanded.
“Not only will the 187 names not be released but Lady Justice Hallett won’t even consider every individual case. She will, rather, “look at a sample of cases from across the scheme”.
“The letters make it clear that Lady Hallett will “not need to re-investigate every case or make a fresh decision about whether a recipient of a letter should or should not have been pursued for arrest and prosecution.”
“Furthermore, it is evident that there is a strong desire to protect the “peace process” and keep its machinations as hidden as possible because “while the reviewer is free to consider the circumstances that led to the establishment of the scheme, a full examination of the political decisions and agreements making up the Northern Ireland peace process is not required”!
“The letters confirm what TUV have argued all along – that the review will deliver nothing of what Mr Robinson demanded. The DUP have meekly rolled over and accepted a whitewash.”