Hain to withhold information from Sentence Review Commission

The Sentence Review Commissioners’ assessment of Secretary of State Peter Hain’s decision to revoke the early release licence of Sean Kelly.. and his sudden change of mind.. is unlikely to provide any surprises. Since Hain has now indicated that he will not make available to the Commissioners all the information on which he initially based his decision, they’ll have nothing on which to assess whether the conditions of the licence were breached.

From the linked report

Having seen the statement I judged that it materially affected the evidence that I would have submitted to the Sentence Review Commissioners.[emphasis added]

and from the BBC’s Mark Devenport

Mr Hain has now openly said that, because of the new context, he will not submit intelligence material put at his disposal to another quango, the Sentence Review Commission.

  • Henry94

    All’s well that end’s well. Move on.

  • peteb

    Sure who needs transparency and accountability in government, eh?

  • Fanny

    It would have been better if Hain had simply released Kelly outright rather than persisted with this legal (and in fact illegal) farce that is making a mockery of the whole prisoner release system.

    This is without even considering any of the numerous possible conspiracy theories – such as: was Kelly re-arrested six weeks ago specifically so he could be released after the IRA statement? Was this a government idea to placate Sinn Fein or a Sinn Fein idea to soften the blow with their hardliners? Was it intended as a distraction from the Irish government’s refusal to release the Adare murderers? Was Kelly, metaphorically speaking, handed another bomb with a short fuse in a big boy’s game?

    Sean Kelly has mild learning difficulties and, far from being the cross-community hero of recent republican spin, is a widely-disliked joke figure in North Belfast. Which is handy enough, considering how much came to rest on a man who can be relied upon to say very little. Pawn cracker, anyone?

  • Gonzo

    You can hear Hain’s interview on Inside Politics here.

  • Annoyed

    This is ridiculous. Once again playing straight into the hands of Sinn Fein/IRA.

    On the basis of the evidence available to them, the Commission will no doubt conclude that there was no basis for his re-arrest.

    … absolutely appalling!

    I am sure Blair wont be too quick to free the London bombers.

  • iluvni

    suppose the next thing will then be Kelly applying for compensation for wrongful arrest.

  • PS

    Nobody should be surprised. Its pretty hard to hand over information if it doesn’t exist.

  • martin

    Anyone know how badly injured Kelly was in the fish shop bomb-I noticed a couple of minor scars in the photo yesterday.

  • fair_deal

    There are three possible scenarios:

    1. Kelly did become reinvolved in terror and the SoS took the necessary action but now the government has released him as a political sop to republicanism in a humiliating climbdown.

    2. Kelly did not become reinvolved in terror and he was arrested as a political sop to Unionists but now the government had to make a humiliating climbdown.

    3. Kelly did not become reinvolved in terror and it was some sort of machiavellian plot to create a ‘concession’. Lift him gain some brownie points with one side then release him gaining some brownie points with the the other side.

    Whichever one is true the word farce doesn’t even begin to cover it and the affair has helped poison the political atmosphere.

    “All’s well that end’s well. Move on.”

    A sectarian mass murderer goes free is considered ‘well’.
    Funny how quick some are to move on in certain circumstances ie the outcome we wanted happened so everyone should move on.

  • T.Ruth

    Does J.Adair have a case to take to the “Equality Commission”
    Oh,”forgetsies”,the Equality Commission doesn’t do Equality for Unionists.

  • Jo

    I reckon 3. above.

    On JA, I did hear a rumour yesterday that he was due for released today.

  • NMC

    I love the two pronged argument that you can see developing. On one side we have “he’s an animal – he should never have been let out” and on the other “how come he get’s out and our animal – J. Adair – isn’t”. Pick a side and go with it.