a report is being prepared for submission to the PPS

The BBC are reporting that the four people arrested in connection with the Claudy bombs, including Sinn Féin MLA Francie Brolly, have been released without being charged. However, the BBC are also reporting that “Police said a report was being prepared for submission to the Public Prosecution Service.” The implication would seem to be that there may still be charges brought.. but if charges are brought they will likely be dealt with under the OTR legislation, which is still on its way through parliament.

  • fair_deal

    This could be a very interesting scenario. The OTR legislation involves applying for a certificate to get covered by its process.

    If for example Mr Brolly was charged he could demonstrate SF’s opposition for this legislation being applied to anyone else other than on-the-runs by NOT seeking a certificate. Thus going through the due legal process of a public trial that could establish the truth and justice seen to be done. Even if convicted he would serve only 2 years under the terms of the GFA.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    Truly extraordinary behaviour by the PSNI. Attributing suspicion to named people about alleged involvement in a heinious crime is about as prejudicial as it gets. It’s true to form however as this is behaviour that has served the police and its media mouthpieces in the past. Castlereagh 1 (not 2 extraordinarily), Stormont-gate and now the Northern Bank.

    Most of the cases have collapsed to date – the Northern Bank ones look like going that way.

    When is the Human Rights Commission, the Police Ombudsman etc going to call a halt to such behaviour by the police?

  • bog warrior

    Maybe i’ve missed something but i had always thought that the police couldn’t name suspects that they were questioning until they were charged with an offence. I seem to remember that during the Troubles this is the way the police and media operated ie. suspects weren’t named until charges were formally brought in court. Could some legal head explain if the law has changed on this issue.
    If there has been no change of law was the previous not naming of suspects until they were charged a media convention to protect people’s identities at a time when there could have been a high risk of assassination from the other sides paramilitaries.
    If none of the people arrested in this case ever face charges then their reputations have been besmirched just by being questioned and their identities revealed.

  • Shore Road Resident

    It was Sinn Fein who named two of the four people arrested in this instance.
    The police response was:

    “As a police service we are mindful of, and always uphold and protect the human rights of any individual we arrest. Every person has a right to be deemed innocent until proven guilty and the police service is careful not to publicly disclose the names of those suspected of involvement.”

    Sinn Fein has played an old trick of releasing the names of people arrested to the press then squealing that this makes the whole process unfair. It isn’t a trick that ever fools the press, so why is it fooling people here?

  • bog warrior

    SRR

    That may be the case in this instance but what i wanted to know was has the law changed on this issue or was it a case that this was previously just a convention between the media and police. There seems to have been quite a few cases in the past ten years where suspects have been named in the press and subsequently no charges were brought.

  • Dec

    Sinn Fein has played an old trick of releasing the names of people arrested to the press then squealing that this makes the whole process unfair. It isn’t a trick that ever fools the press, so why is it fooling people here?

    Some evidence to support this claim would have been helpful.

  • fair_deal

    Oliver Gibson DUP MLA interrogation was leaked by the PSNI during an inquiry into an old murder case. Michael Copeland’s of the UUP was too in the investigation into money laundering.

    If the leaking of names is evidence of political bias then we all better join the Alliance and SDLP.

  • bog warrior

    FD

    So these are leaks and no one arrested and questioned should have their identity released unless chrges are brought or unless they go to the press themselves, whether they’re Oliver Gibson or Francie Brolly?

    SRR & Dec

    SF are claiming that the identities of the people arrested were leaked by the PSNI to selected media outlets. If there’s evidence that SF leaked the identities i’d be interested in seeing it.

  • fair_deal

    Bog warrior

    I never advocated the release of names. Simply questioning the claim that the leaking of a republican’s name proves a particular bias against that section of the community as it seems to be a common occurrence irrespective of the person’s politics.

    A few weeks ago the name of the ‘loyalist’ Andre Shoukri was leaked in advance of any charges too.

  • Shore Road Resident

    It always amazes me how people don’t realise the press has its own informer network as well.
    Hardly something the cops – or the Shinners – can complain about.

  • Betty Boo

    Depending on the leak, you either need pampers or a plumper then?

  • bog warrior

    FD
    My original post made no mention of bias. What i’m interested in is establishing the legal position. Has the law changed to allow people who are questioned by police to be identified in the media if not is the naming of suspects who subsequently are never charged illegal?
    If it is illegal has it just come to be accepted over a period of years that people who are arrested and subsequently released without charge are fair game on a nudge nudge wink wink basis even though police can’t make a case against them stand up in court.

    SRR

    Of course the press has its own network of sources that’s not the point. See above.

  • fair_deal

    Bog warrior

    I never claimed you did make a claim of bias,
    my first post was a reply to OC not you and he did make a claim of bias. You then basically asked for an explanation of why I said what i did and I gave it to you.

  • bog warrior

    FD

    Fair enough.
    The question still stands though on the broader issue of the legality or otherwise of suspects names coming into the public domain before charges are brought.
    No one has addressed that on this thread yet.
    Apologies if this seems pedantic but i think its an important issue and wanted to get the legal line on it.