Earlier today Rusty linked to Henry McDonald’s report on the suspected side-deal on on-the-runs – prosecutions to be deemed as ‘not in the public interest’.. but the flip-side, noted there, and highlighted again by this report on the DUP’s reaction, would be that “a similar no prosecution call for members of the security forces accused of collusion with loyalist paramilitaries would be made.” That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, although the lack of a publicly stated position by the British government on this would allow other interested parties a certain degree of plausible deniability.. except that there is a publicly stated government position..From the Secretary of State for Wales etc Peter Hain’s statement in the Commons on January 11 last year
“Mr Speaker, to exclude any members of the security forces who might have been involved in such offences from the provisions of the Bill would not only have been illogical, it would have been indefensible and we would not do it. Closure on the past cannot be one-sided.
“That was, and is, non-negotiable.” [added emphasis]
As noted in the linked report, here is the DUP’s Nigel Dodds reaction to the suggestion that prosecutions of on-the-runs would be dropped.
“An amnesty for OTRs is just as unacceptable whether it is done directly in legislation or indirectly through some kind of administrative fix,” he said.
Mr Dodds added: “If Government does decide to go down such a route then it is placing any prospects of politically stable devolution in jeopardy.”
But we have already seen the sealing off of the past from investigation by the new, and improved, Human Rights Commission..
If it’s [closure on the past] included in any resulting package of proposals we will, no doubt, be required to once again ignore the grey areas.
The question is, however, who exactly will benefit if the rest us ignore those grey areas?