“there are political talks between the British and German side on how to deal with this thing.”

Germany may have been taking the lead in seeking the extradition of Roisin McAliskey but, as the Sunday Times reports [courtesy of Newshound – Ed], when it comes to certain cases political interference in the judicial system is never far away..

“I expect there is going to be a hearing on Wednesday,” the German embassy in London said. “The courts have to decide how to react to the German request and, meanwhile, there are political talks between the British and German side on how to deal with this thing.”

The embassy added: “We are in this awkward dilemma of having to follow up on a criminal act based on German criminal law and acknowledging the political aspect of this case. That is why we want to play along and that is why we said, ‘Yes, of course we can set her free on bail’.”

It looks like it won’t be one of the serial collapses suggested previously.. but it’s not far from it.

A couple of points to note though.

One is the implication of the British government’s stated position that “Closure on the past cannot be one-sided”, as Mick spelt out here

The other is the Policing Oversight Commissioner Al Hutchison’s comments in his final report.

The dilemma is this: Is there going to be a continual debilitating drip-feed of speculation, inquires and investigations into past police practice, or is the majority of the Northern Ireland society willing to move on, in some yet-to-be-defined manner, and regard the Police Service of Northern Ireland as a new organisation that has itself moved on and demonstrated that it has learned from the past? It is a serious question and deserves serious reflection.

I have not previously publicly discussed this issue, simply because it is so emotive and almost defies rational discussion. Who can argue against a search for truth and justice after losing loved ones because of alleged security forces collusion? Who can argue against a search for truth and justice for the thousands of victims and their families, from many communities? As noted recently by the Police Service Superintendents Association, there should not be a hierarchy of victims. This includes the 302 police officers who lost their lives, and their surviving families. How can they be excluded from a search for truth and justice?

I am raising the issue of ‘policing the past’ from the singular perspective of policing the future of Northern Ireland. I do believe that the Northern Ireland society somehow has to find the proper
architecture to deal with the past, and learn from it.

And, as I’ve noted before, “Delay has its own heavy price. The poison accumulates in the system.”