The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Wales, Peter Hain, has declared that it is not in the public interest to hold an inquiry into the spy-ring at Stormont. Just as it was not in the public interest to prosecute the three men charged, despite the previous assertions that it was not for lack of evidence. Would it be in the public interest to explain what public interest the Secretary of State is actually serving? or is it, like so many, apparently, that he also doesn’t know? Update More detail on what Peter Hain had to say hereSome extracts from the update –
“If it was not possible to proceed with this trial because, as the director of public prosecutions decided, it was not in the public interest to do so, what purpose would an inquiry serve?” Mr Hain said.
“Frankly, we have had inquiries galore in Northern Ireland. They cost hundreds of millions of pounds. I am not going down that road when it is quite clear that it is not in the public interest to do so.”
And some information on the intelligence gathered –
Mr Hain said it was a fact that there was a paramilitary intelligence-gathering operation at Stormont.
“The facts are many, many documents – perhaps over a thousand – were stolen from this Northern Ireland office of the most sensitive kind, including conversations with foreign governments,” he said.
“The facts are that they turned up in west Belfast. A crime was committed and that is why the prosecution followed it.”
Except, of course, the prosecution didn’t follow it through..