“At the time Sinn Féin condemned the arrest..”

The Public Prosecution Service is said to be considering the judge’s verdict after Brian Arthurs, who was named in this 2005 Sunday Times report as a member of the PIRA army council and had been jailed for 25 years in 1995 for possession of explosives, was acquited on all charges fifteen months after being charged under the Proceeds of Crime Act [May 23, 2007] – he is now reported to be considering a civil action against the chief constable for malicious prosecution and, according to the Belfast Telegraph report, is “taking a complaint to the police ombudsman.” The Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, who may or may not have been one of the MLAs who provided a reference for Arthurs, responded to the news here. And there is more detail on the events in court in the Irish News. [added link]

Mr Justice John Meehan refused prosecution requests for a further adjournment in the case and acquitted Arthurs on all counts, stating that despite 15 months having passed, it had failed to provide any evidence to the court.

It was claimed that the case against the contractor was linked to a discrepancy in a mortgage application form. The court heard that when police arrested him they found £20,000 in sterling and euro in a car, which he said were proceeds of the sale of a laundrette in Co. Derry.

Update Despite the reports, Brian Arthurs has said he sees no point in asking Al Hutchinson’s office to investigate the matter, and that he has no confidence in the ombudsman to do so.

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  • Steve

    Pete its not often we see you agreeing with Sinn Fein but it is nice of you to point out that they were correct in condeming this arrest as simple malicious prosecution

  • Pete Baker

    Best not to attempt to paraphrase me, Steve.

    You invariably get it wrong.

  • steve

    no you invariably get it wrong

    its just amusing to foist you on your own petard

  • USA

    Arthurs should sue the London Times as well. That article was the biggest load of unsubstantaited garbage I have read in a long time.

  • Pete Baker


    “its just amusing to foist you on your own petard”

    That would be ‘hoist’.

    And my own blogging of the initial charges is linked in the original post above.

  • steve

    You say potato I say potato

    code word: fact, very amusing

  • Chris Donnelly

    indeed Steve.

  • Pete Baker

    For the benefit of those still not paying attention..

    Here’s the link to my earlier post on the initial charges again.

  • steve

    just for the record Pete foist was the correct word, look it up

  • I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK

    It’s ‘hoist’, you know-nothing Canadian idiot – as with so much else in English (not that you’d know), it originates from Shakespeare (specifically Hamlet, Act III, Scene IV, line 222):


  • Steve

    Youre the idiot my little friend

    It was not meant as a quote

    Look up the word foist you fool

    I am not a lumberjack but I am still better than you

  • Steve

    By the way Mick nice to see your much vaunted ball not the man rule doesnt apply to sock puppets

    I wonder which of your regular contributers/commentors this sock puppet belongs to and why you don’t seem to care?

  • Pete Baker

    In case there’s any confusion, Steve.

    I don’t use sock-puppets.

  • Pete Baker

    Well, Steve, I judged that you were being a tad overly sensitive about being called on your “its just amusing to foist you on your own petard” comment.

    But, hey! I might just be a know-nothing idiot! ;o)

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Rattles at the ready lads lol

  • POL

    Guy was innocent all along….but lets side step the issue.

  • Where’s the law

    I am sure Mr Arthurs has been a model citizen since his release under the GFA and one is always innocent until proven guilty.

    I would like to make two points:

    1. The silence of the DUP over this case is noteworthy. Do you remember how they produced the ream of cartoons to hit the UUP and Shinners over PIRA activity? Do you remember how they accused everyone of sweeping such activity under the carpet?

    Well I am sure if I walked into the DUP offices I would have mulitple fractures from the lumps in their carpet on this exact issue.

    Do not be surprised if this is in someway tied to the ending of the IRA Army Council.

    Most certainly some deal has been done.

    The DUP are obsessed with winding up this council – the existence of which is symbolic rather than threatening. They would rather have the council disbanded than go after the millions that PIRA has stashed away. No longer do you hear the DUP talk of money laundering, fuel smuggling etc etc (God forbid anyone even goes further and mentions a certain bank beside City Hall)

    Frankly the DUP are more interested in bashing homosexuals rather than law and order.

    2. I am not surprised Mr Arthurs has had his charges dropped. When was the last time someone from mainstream republicanism was convicted of any crime. I doubt they would even get a parking ticket. After all aren’t they always innocent?

    Frankly folks I am sick and tired of how the law exists to protect the mainstream republicans and loyalists and how joe public has to swallow yet another pill for the peace process.

    Isn’t it ironic that the majority of us would immediately get our knuckles rapped for speeding etc – but go rob a bank, launder millions, set up illegal petrol startions, bully and racketeer and – hey you’re laughing – for the government will never bat an eyelip and eveyone else keeps their mouths shut.

    To the DUP who continually ranted about law and order – you should be ashamed of yourselves – you have led your voters up the garden path – and are content to watch the fat cats paramilitaries on both sides keep their money and that is disgraceful.

    Perfidious Paisley.

  • Here’s Me

    Where’s the law

    Simply – there isn’t any – and the people you refer to are untouchable.

    Simple but disgusting.

  • Where’s the law


    Can I ask you – why do you think the Unionists who used to pretend to be the guardians of law and order have been mute on this topic and so many other instances of alleged paramilitary criminality?


    Where’s the law