The case for the defence

The Retired Police Officers Association has produced a 76 page rebuttal of the Police Ombudsman’s report into the McCord murder. Full report here (Hat tip Supersoupy).

  • SuperSoupy
  • SuperSoupy

    A real pity that the officers concerned did not put the same effort into giving evidence to the Ombudsman or weren’t as meticulous in keeping notes from their time in SB.

    As a rebuttal it is little more than nitpicking – it even resorts to pointing out grammatical errors – with no real questioning of what officers actually got up to with Haddock just some sort of problem it wasn’t taken ‘in context’!

    The major complaint is that people might think collusion means something worse than it does – something worse than working with an agent in such a way as to allow him to commit and get away with crime?

    Seems these people are on the ropes and are desperate to nail every officer’s reputation to their’s as a defence mechanism. Those that didn’t do anything wrong shouldn’t let those that did hide behind them.

    The frantic, weak and amateurish nature of the ‘report’ does nothing to reduce the Ballast findings in my eyes. It makes me think of the pointless excuses of a child caught with their hand in the sweetie jar.

  • SuperSoupy

    How many Unionists will buy they did offer cooperation with the investigaion – via solicitor’s letters – that wouldn’t buy similar cooperation with the McCartney investigation?

  • Bemused

    Let’s look at their risible ‘rebuttal’ in more detail – (i’ve managed this in twelve minutes while sitting here eating my dinner…)

    “1. The Police Ombudsman’s Statement makes allegations of guilt but her investigation has not produced prima-facie evidence acceptable to the Public Prosecution Service. The Director of Public Prosecutions had already directed ‘No Prosecution’ of any serving or retired police officer before the Statement was published. Similarly no action in respect of any alleged breaches of police discipline is recommended.”

    Correct chaps – that’s because if you’d acutally bothered to read the report you’d have realised that (i) evidence sufficient to mount successful prosecutions to the criminal standard of proof was destroyed by police (including no doubt some of your own illustrious members) and (ii) the Ombudsman is the Ombudsman – she’s not the P.P.S. or the Crown Court or any of the other elements of the criminal law system who require evidence to the criminal standard of proof.

    ” 2. The misuse of the word “collusion”, without any legal anchorage, has led to it being used as a political catchphrase. As a result, police officers who have served their country and community with integrity and bravery have been vilified in the court of public opinion. On every single occasion where the word “collusion” appears in the Statement, the “finding” is entirely groundless.”

    So the fact that the Ombudsman didn’t define the word ‘collusion’ the way you wanted her to (and to hell with the fact that her definition of ‘collusion’ was that proposed by Lord Stevens – the most Senior Policeman in the U.K.) means that her report is rubbish? Brilliant.

    “The Statement completely fails to contextualise the dilemmas facing the police in terms of the existing legal and disciplinary frameworks; it over-simplifies the ethical and moral dilemmas; and it ignores the overriding priority set by HMG at the time to save life through the effective gathering, assessment, analysis and exploitation of intelligence as opposed to obtaining arrests and perhaps convictions after the offence.”

    Really? If this really is true (rather than some desperate attempt at diversionary waffle) then wouldn’t it have been great if your members had bothered their arses making this case to the Ombudsman rather than hampering and frustrating her investigation, refusing to cooperate with her and then turning round afterwards and saying “Ah yeah, but you see you should have looked at this, that and the other….”?

    “The Statement could lead to the identification of a number of informants, with consequent applications for resettlement. It has led to the identification of a number of retired police officers. This pointless, self-serving exercise has compromised the security of these officers, whose families’ rights to privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights have been gravely abused.”

    Where’s the evidence for this chaps? Come on – let’s have it. Personally – if the report has led to the public identification of non-cooperating officers – great – slap it up them.

    “The Statement compromises secret methodology which had never previously been officially acknowledged. This breach of the principles of the Official Secrets Act may have severe consequences for the security of the United Kingdom and her allies in the current struggle against worldwide terrorism. It is also likely to impact on law enforcement here and in the Republic of Ireland.”

    You’re having a laugh aren’t you? Any chance of some factual information here rather than a bald piece of non-committal waffle? Thought not.

    “The Statement makes disingenuous and wholly unfounded criticisms of a number of retired senior police officers for allegedly refusing to cooperate with the enquiry. This misleading and objectionable vitriol has led to personal embarrassment for these retired public servants and their families and to the confusion of the public. The purpose appears to be to provide cover for the inadequacies of the Ombudsman’s investigation and Statement and to lay the foundations for a request for legislation to make retired officers compellable witnesses in future investigations.”

    Again – hint lads – just because you have an OPINION about something doesn’t make it a FACT – got it? We’ll see who’s right once the Writs start flying. The Chief Constable is about to get sued off the face of the earth by a raft of collusion victims on foot of this report. Let’s see whether a High Court Judge believes your version of events. Should be amusing.

  • Bemused

    ‘Points’ 7 and 8 are simply a secondary school dunce’s re-hash of ‘Point’ 6 – same comments apply.

    “The Statement is written and presented in a style that invites the reader to draw adverse inferences about the Police, particularly Special Branch, mainly through omission of supporting facts or explanation where needed.”

    Awesome! One of the all time classics. “Because the report found lots of evidence of collusion with paramilitaries and obstruction and non-cooperation with the Ombudsman by our members then anyone reading it is going to think that our members colluded with paramilitaries and obstructed and refused to co-operate with the Ombudsman.” You couldn’t make it up.

    “The “findings” and the absence of evidence or sound reasoning upon which they are based, together with the unfounded criticism and innuendo which is directed against individuals and against parts of the RUC GC, demonstrate the lack of objectivity in the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.”

    Again chaps *adopts best Father Ted to Dougal voice* just because you don’t like what someone says doesn’t meant that what they say is wrong.

    11 and 12 are, again, an embarrassing ‘the dog ate my homework’-style rehash of the preceding points.

    What an utter fucking joke. Nice one lads – if I had simply lain back and farted for two months then I’d have classed that as a greater achievement than this otiose guff.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    A lot of the evidence of the collusion report was not made public. Thus the RUC have issued a rebuttal when not in full possession of the facts.

    Put simply, this is an appeal to their core supporters to stand by them. The core supporters who stood idly by and turned a blind eye during the decades of murder, intimidation and torture. A willing audience in every respect.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Pat,
    Talking about “core supporters who stood idly by and turned a blind eye during the decades of murder, intimidation and torture”, do you still support Sinn Fein?

  • McGrath

    #

    Pat,
    Talking about “core supporters who stood idly by and turned a blind eye during the decades of murder, intimidation and torture”, do you still support Sinn Fein?
    Posted by Intelligence Insider on Mar 20, 2007 @ 09:46 PM

    That deserves some kind of whataboutry award!

    It is however ironic that you are drawing a parallel between what was the political wing of a terrorist organization and what was supposed to be the legitimate police force.

  • Intelligence Insider

    McGrath, I think the irony lies in someone who supports “the political wing of” a terrorist organisation (or just remove the part in inverted commas to be blunt) having the audacity to refer to others turning a blind eye to any type of crime!

  • Gonzo

    Wouldn’t it be great to get a hold of the other 100 pages of the report, to resolve some of these arguments.

    Anyone got a copy?

  • Sean

    It is however ironic that you are drawing a parallel between what was the political wing of a terrorist organization and what was supposed to be the legitimate police force.

    Posted by McGrath on Mar 20, 2007 @ 10:52 PM

    makes you wonder if ingram is equating the nirpoa as being the political wing of a terrorist organization namely the ruc

  • McGrath

    Martin, such conduct but a political party is not OK, such conduct by a police service is even less OK. Who should be held to a higher standard?

    PS The puppetry gets really old and distracts from the quality of this site.

  • McGrath

    “The Statement completely fails to contextualise the dilemmas facing the police in terms of the existing legal and disciplinary frameworks; it over-simplifies the ethical and moral dilemmas; and it ignores the overriding priority set by HMG at the time to save life through the effective gathering, assessment, analysis and exploitation of intelligence as opposed to obtaining arrests and perhaps convictions after the offence.”

    Meanwhile, back to the report. The above statement is as self condemning as any I have ever read. It more or less says “we were only following orders”. The NIAPRA obviously didn’t run this one by their legal representatives before publication.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Pat,
    Talking about “core supporters who stood idly by and turned a blind eye during the decades of murder, intimidation and torture”, do you still support Sinn Fein?’

    Even the number of threads used to attack SF is not enough for some (have to find an angle to get them in). As it is this thread is about the rebuttal by the old guard of the RUC who were accused in the Collusion Report of murder and the facilitating of such.
    As further stated the rebuttal was based on the old guard only having seen those parts of the report that were made public.

    Try and stay on topic, the speed of the whataboutery was telling.

  • wee slabber

    Well then, let’s have a truely independent, international body to look at it all. If there’s nothing to hide then the fine officers of the RUC ought to come out of it shining bright. I know where I’d put my money!

  • Sean

    Well wee slabber I think you would be hard pressed to find anybody to cover that action except maybe some delusional orangemen

  • wee slabber

    Yes, that would really test the depths of their delusion!

  • gareth mccord

    could someone let me know how the police federation report deals with or ackowledges the victims and the families fighting for justice or is there no victims in this except the disgraceful officers who deny all this ever happened?

  • willowfield

    The retired police officers would be better directing their anger at those of their colleagues who have damaged the reputation of the RUC by their illegal actions in their dealings with informers.

  • amused

    Gareth

    Are the innocent police officers not victims too though? What about the one’s that were killed with inside information being passed to terrorists? Ever think of them? Doubt it!