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.