“the only way we will see a successful prosecution in a criminal court..”

He may have been reading Mark Devenport’s blog, or perhaps Mick’s Comment is Free post, but Chief Constable Hugh Orde commented today on yesterday’s judgement by Mr Justice Weir and, after referring to the original investigation by the RUC as an “imperfect product”, he also made a point about the prosecution’s reliance on forensic evidence alone.

[Hugh Orde] said: “People out there know who did this. There is a lot of intelligence but intelligence is not evidence. In my judgment, the only way we will see a successful prosecution in a criminal court is if people stand up and say ‘This was committed by X and I will tell you how it happened’. If they do that they will have my total support and total protection.”

The BBC report also notes

In an interview for the BBC, Mr Orde conceded that exhibits were “not to the standard and were not packaged in the way we would do it now”.

But he added: “It was an absolutely genuine attempt to do our very best with what little we had.

“I think we discharged that responsibility to the best of our ability with what was available.”

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  • The Dubliner

    [i]In my judgment, the only way we will see a successful prosecution in a criminal court is if people stand up and say ‘This was committed by X and I will tell you how it happened’. If they do that they will have my total support and total protection.”[/i]

    It’s a shame the police service didn’t have that ethos within the police service to encourage internal witnesses to its own criminality in the matter of collusion and cases of police abuse of citizens. No-one in the police serve ever sees any crimes by the police service, so the Police Ombudsman has to gather evidence sans eye witnesses – just as no-one in the police service ‘witnessed’ the outright lies being told to Mr Justice Weir by police officers. I don’t know how Huge Orde could say that and keep a straight face.

  • The Dubliner

    One other point: the “imperfect product” was produced under his watch. It wasn’t the ‘RUC’ who tried to pervert the course of justice by lying to the courts; that was his PSNI officers.

    He needs to address the PSNI omerta – it’s own code of slience – as to why no PSNI informed the judge that other PSNI officers were lying through their smiling teeth in a caculated effort to send the wrong man to jail.

  • steve

    There is likely not a single person who could stand up and testify in a true manner that was not in the conspiracy. Will the DPP offer immunity to a suspect or 2 suspects to get the testimony they require? If they do will the public accept these immunities at face value?

    At this point they do not have anything to fear from the DPP as long as they keep code.

    I dont think its right that they get away with it but the PSNI has no one to point the finger at but the PSNI.

  • cut the bull

    Is Hugh Orde just acting a dick here!

    KEVIN FULTON is a self confessed witness yet no one involved in this investigation has bothered to ask him any questions, WHY, WHY, WHY.

    Has the PSNI/Special Branch/British Intelligence got something to hide.

  • Mooch Blair

    Cut The Bull,

    One word ?

    Tout….. not Fulton but Man A

    Coffee smell getting stronger by the minute for some.

  • joeCanuck

    I have never been a supporter of SF let alone the IRA but their (SF) constant reference in the past to “political policing” seems to ring true still.
    What a shame. We all deserve better.

  • Pete Baker


    You’d need to justify that comment with some working out.

    Look at it this way.

    The intelligence referenced by Orde points in a particular direction. There is political pressure to bring a prosecution. So.. what available evidence there is is marshalled into a case.

    Is that within your defintion of ‘political policing’?

    It’s not what most people [here] think of as political influence in the judicial system – even though it is.

  • Rory

    The concensus of informed opinion in Britain, as evidenced by many references to this case throughout yesterday on BBC Radio 4, in particular Question Time, seems to be that it is highly unlikely that a successful prosecution can or will ever be brought in this case.

    This outcome is not as a result of any code of omerta within the nationalist community – that simply presents a difficulty, albeit a great difficulty – it is as a result of what is regarded as the PSNI’s bungling and corruption in the prosecution of this failed case against Sean Hoey. After that it is regarded that any evidence now presented by the PSNI is likely to be tainted with suspicion as to its integrity.

    Noises off are strongly whispering that Flanagan is now damaged beyond repair and must be cast down. Orde should resign but probably will not – at least for the time being. The PSNI are discredited. The dissidents have been handed a propaganda victory that might rejuvenate them to further madness and the victims’ families are left reeling – betrayed and bewildered.

    The only good thing to emerge from this whole sorry farrago is that juries in future might be less likely to be bamboozled by the prosecution’s attempt to flummox them with the “incontrovertible proof” of dodgy forensics.Though that might just be my pious wish – I had hoped the same after many scandalous cases – the Birmingham 6 – the Australian Dingo trial spring to mind – when corrupt government forensics experts manufactured evidence and perjured themselves wholesale.

  • lib2016

    This case seems to be a bit of a shock to some but the PSNI are simply doing what police services everywhere, especially police services involved in any version of the Common Law.

    Since the police officer’s job is seen as delivering convictions rather than delivering the truth then each part of the system must deliver on it’s small area rather than take an overall view.

    In this case both the Judiciary and the Ombudsman’s office seem to have delivered, with the bonus that the majority of politicans have been forced to row in behind them.

    No system is perfect but in this case the checks and balances actually worked to stop a wrongful conviction, thereby strengthening the hand of those in Sinn Fein who wish to help build law and order for all equally.

    There can never be justice for the dead and injured and revenge for the survivors is not the same as justice no matter how often it is claimed to be so.

    The best result we can get is to diminish the chance of such an atrocity ever happening again and that is what has in fact happened.

    Time does heal wounds and hopefully the families will find some healing in all this.

  • cut the bull

    Mooch Blair talking of touts and agents your name rings a bell.

  • susan

    Cut The Bull,

    One word ?

    Tout….. not Fulton but Man A

    Coffee smell getting stronger by the minute for some.

    Posted by Mooch Blair on Dec 21, 2007 @ 07:59 PM

    Mooch Blair was named by agent “Kevin Fulton” as the man who accompanied him in the murder of Eoin Morley. I did not read FUlton’s book, I did read the interview with Fulton by the American reporter Matthew Teague several times.

    Mooch Blair was Man A, was he not? Can someone help me understand what this means?


  • joeCanuck

    Yes, Pete, I understand that. The “political” policing works both ways. I must admit that I was thinking of Paul Quinn too when I wrote that.

    My family was directly affected by the Omagh atrocity. My grandniece was blinded in both eyes. I would not want anyone convicted on tainted evidence.
    The good news is that she, 14 at the time, has gone on to University and got her degree. Earlier this year she got married and, knowing my family’s fecundity, I would expect a baby some time later next year.

    Best Christmas wishes to all.

  • susan


    A harsher spirit than yours would have told us only of the blinding, and not of your grandniece’s triumph. I will never get over my wonderment at how life can and does find a way, even in the face of so much evil and despair.

    God bless you and yours at Christmas, and all the year.

  • joeCanuck

    Thank you Susan.

  • Outsider


    I have never been a fan of yours but I am very sorry to learn about your grandniece and I am pleased to hear that since the atrocity she is making excellent progress.

  • joeCanuck

    Thank you Outsider.