“we will use all legal means to bring those responsible before the courts”

RTÉ reports that – “Around 50 supporters of dissident republican groups protested this afternoon outside Antrim police station.” Meanwhile the Committee on the Administration of Justice has expressed their concerns about the continued detentions. And how long before Policing Board member, Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey, joins the protest line? As for his reference to “beyond the existing seven days”. Does that refer to the current 7 day extension granted on Tuesday under the Counter-Terrorism Act? Which would actually mean the current 14 days in custody? Police could have up to 28 days to question terrorism suspects if the courts allow. From the BBC report

In a statement, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said it did “not create legislation” but enforced “the law as it is enacted”. “When investigating any crime we will use all legal means to bring those responsible before the courts,” a PSNI spokeswoman said. “This we do in compliance with European Human Rights legislation.”

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  • LURIG

    Let’s look at this logically. How many of us, deprived of sleep, food, rest and questioned for 7/8/9 days and nights would confess to nearly anything? Pretty much 99% of people and that’s what causing so much concern amongst Human Rights groups and others. Is it fair to detain a 17 year old for so long without releasing or charging him? Now many on here will say “Hell slap it up them” but the Birmingham 6 & Guildford 4 underwent similar arrest and interrogation procedures and eventually signed whatever was put in front of them. Are these people to be detained until such time as they wear out and sign their lives away. If the cops did indeed have something concrete would they not have put it in front of a court or is it a waiting game until these individuals sign through tiredness, threats or desperation?

  • IRIA

    Spot on LURIG (and Maskey)

    Khaled Sheik Mohammed:

    I gave a lot of false information in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear in order to make the ill-treatment stop…. I’m sure that the false information I was forced to invent…wasted a lot of their time and led to several false red-alerts being placed in the US.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22530

  • joeCanuck

    Most of the top communists, Generals etc who cofessed to plotting against the state in the 30’s at Stalin’s show trials did so after no more than sleep deprivation. It took as little as 3 days to achieve that according to a couple of books I read 30 years or more ago.

  • USA

    These murders were wrong and should rightly be condemned. I also think the state cannot hold citizens without charge for these lengths of time.
    And before you all go on about Gitmo and Yanks etc, let it be known that I opposed Bush and his criminal cabal also.

  • picador

    While I abhor the actions of CIRA/RIRA and hope that the killers in their ranks are quickly brought to justice I strongly believe that the PSNI should now either charge or release those whom are being questioned. In particularly it is wrong to hold a minor for such a length of time.

  • Peace

    LURIG wrote:

    ‘If the cops did indeed have something concrete would they not have put it in front of a court or is it a waiting game until these individuals sign through tiredness, threats or desperation?’

    I see your point, but I’m not altogether convinced of it. It may be that the PSNI are trying to get not only confessions, but useful information from these suspects. Not being either a copper or one who has experience with interrogation, I’m only speculating that the time it might take to extract useful intelligence may or may not be the same timeframe that it takes to obtain an admission of guilt for a crime. Whilst it may be true that they’ve not ‘cracked yet’, so to speak, I wouldn’t bet on it.

    In any case, it’s a sad day for all Irishmen when such questioning even needs to be conducted.

  • Peace

    And ‘no’–before you ask–I’m NOT saying they are guilty. But I don’t necessarily accept that if they were guilty, we’d know this before all attempts to get useful information from them had been exhausted.

  • Yokel

    Slap it up them.

    Whats the chances of the detentions actually causing more complaints & ructions within republicanism than the killings themselves.

  • Onlooker

    One of those protesting yesterday, Willy Gallagher from Strabane, was recently released from Antrim Crime Suite over a murder in Londonderry. You could only get that in Northern Ireland, murderers protesting for the release of murderers, you couldn’t make it up.

  • spiritof07

    Didn’t take long in the end for the bleeding liberals to get on board this one. Wonder what’s keeping Monica? I’d say she is mulling over the latte whether to get involved or not. Come on HRC, is a kuman right.

  • shaneog

    Talking of murderers and their apologists, it wasn’t long before we had one arriving at the scene, a certain Mr Wilkinson who was strangely silent on the issue of shame when people were burying their loved ones at the hands of the local UVF.
    They must be guilty ‘onlooker’, i wouldn’t aspire to be in the dock if you were on the jury.

  • kensei

    Archie

    I feel certain that all of those in custody have links to the Continuity or Real IRAs and they have every right to be enjoying their enforced holiday in the town of Antrim. Sure they are even staying in a suite, a custody suite !!!

    If you are certain, then why stop at 28 days. Why not 90? In fact, why release them at all?

    If political pressure can stop the legal but totally illiberal and abusive practice being implemented here then I’m all for it.

  • BonarLaw

    LURIG

    “Let’s look at this logically. How many of us, deprived of sleep, food, rest and questioned for 7/8/9 days and nights would confess to nearly anything?”

    Are you suggesting that is what is happening at Antrim Crime Suite?

  • curious

    in their report on the funeral of the second soldier today, the bbc are saying that there are two people in cusody over the Craigavon attack. Presumably they are referring to the two who have had extensions granted until Tuesday. Have the other five been released?

    The last I read about the other five was the five day extension granted on 15th March for the 21 year old arrested in Antrim on 13th (expires today). There were two arrested on 14th and another two arrested on 16th. I haven’t heard anything about their release or of any further extensions. Have the press started to get bored or confused with all this news of extensions, or is there a deliberate attempt to highlight the arrests, but to ignore when innocent people are released?

  • Greenflag

    ‘I feel certain that all of those in custody have links ‘

    Of course you do . It’s called inherent bias . . This ‘inherent bias’has cost the State millions in wrongful judgements , commissions , witness perjury , etc etc . Why repeat the errors of the past ?

    While we all want to see those who who committed these murders found and charged for their crime this is best not achieved by ‘stalinist’ techniques . If the police have evidence they need to bring it out .

    We know the ‘dissidents’ have learnt NOTHING from the ‘troubles’ . Let’s hope the PSNI have something .

  • Greenflag

    error above

    Let’s hope the PSNI unlike the dissidents HAVE learned something .

  • gitmo

    rsf reporting that 2 detainees are refusing food.

    “TWO CAPTIVES REFUSING FOOD

    Republican Sinn Féin has learnt that two men arrested in North Armagh on Monday have been refusing food since being taken to Antrim RUC Barracks.

    This follows countless raids and arrests in the Lurgan and Craigavon areas of County Armagh since Tuesday, 10th March.

    Republican Sinn Féin calls for the immediate release of all people currently being held in Antrim Barracks, and condemns the vindictive actions of the RUC, including those over the course of the past ten days.”

  • frustrated democrat

    I am very far from a supporter of terrorists of any hue, however the PSNI either have evidence to charge people or they don’t.

    What new evidence are they going to find in the next week, two weeks or three weeks that holding people in custody will actually bring forth.

    They can release the people and still look for evidence and then re-arrest them if they find any.

    As far as I am concerned ten days should be the maximum without charge and even that is stretching it. We do not uphold the law by abusing it.

  • circles

    Archie clearly the reason you stop at 28 days has nothing to do with “being a democrat”. You say so yourself – “had they agreed 90 days then I would have accepted their decision”. So you are OK with 28 days because you’ve been told 28 days is OK – which in the end is a fine line from the “i was only doing my job” excuse really isn’t it.
    Maybe you could start thinking for yourself how does that sound? Or will parliament have to tell you to do that first?

  • Dec

    It was reported in the Irish News that the PUP’s Ken Wilkinson harangued the protesters with shouts of “Shame on you”.

    Some people have short memories

  • T.R.O.H.V.M

    According to Archie it is the MPs who should tell the rest of us what to think and do and not the other way about. He has a strange concept of democracy…..

    of the people, by the people for the people….but not according to him.

  • Dec

    Those who write about ‘charging’ people within a day or so, don’t have a clue about what is involved….forensics, DNA tests etc., take time and it is much better to hold those detained, rather than release them too early and then have them skip the country.

    William

    Again, it would appear it is you who do not have the clue. Typically, evidence is gathered prior to arrest and detention of suspects. Not the other way round.

  • sceptic

    Wise up, Archie. You’re nothing but a Troll. And not particularly good at it either.

  • Uriop

    @Dec

    Er, no. The arrest, detention etc. is part of the evidence gathering process. It is not the job of the police to be a judge and jury.

    Therefore it is perfectly normal for evidence to be gathered before, during and even after individuals have been held for questioning. Some evidence, e.g. fingerprints, DNA samples, obviously cannot even BE obtained before people are arrested and such evidence taken from their person.

  • Dec

    Therefore it is perfectly normal for evidence to be gathered before, during and even after individuals have been held for questioning.

    Uriop

    I’m not sure I said anything that disagreed with that. I was replying to Williams post where he promoted the view that people should be detained until evidence pointing to their innocence is procured by the police.

    evidence, e.g. fingerprints, DNA samples, obviously cannot even BE obtained before people are arrested and such evidence taken from their person.

    Are you suggesting the police don’t already have Colin Duffy’s DNA samples?

  • OC

    It seems to me that the Irish Free State/early RoI had the winning formulae for dealing with terrorists, and hunger strikers.

  • latcheeco

    Good cop/bad cop played inside the barracks and good ra/bad ra played outside.

  • Tee Dee Um

    Should detention last for 3, 7 or 28 days no detainee will be subjected to sleep deprivation or other abuses conjured from the warped minds of the CAJ and others of the same ilk.

    Police custody is regulated with sleep and food breaks, even those who smoke must be faciltated.

    Gathering evidence, especially forensic evidence can take time.

    Sad, yet predictable, how quickly the ‘outrage’ over the recent murders has evaporated from slugger’s green army. Illustrating that support for the police from this quarter is very much conditional.

    This pattern replicates the early 1970’s when the outcry over the early troubles’ murders quickly disappeared to be replaced by thinly veiled sympathy for violent protagonists of one hue or another.

  • circles

    TeeDee – so are we to assume that in the pursuit of the murderers the police can basically detain anybody they fancy for s month in the hope thta maybe they may have stu,bled upon the right republican (and thus implicitly suggesting that any republican deserves a bit of detention for the gall he/she has to actually be one)?
    If “This pattern replicates the early 1970’s” then we are truly buggered – the police abuses of those detained are well documented and beyond question. If this is the path you want to see travelled again good luck to ye – you won’t be seeing me on it.

  • The Third Policeman

    Most of the top communists, Generals etc who cofessed to plotting against the state in the 30’s at Stalin’s show trials did so after no more than sleep deprivation. It took as little as 3 days to achieve that according to a couple of books I read 30 years or more ago.
    Posted by joeCanuck on Mar 20, 2009 @ 01:45 AM

    You should read Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler. A great book about how the under the right type of non violent interrogation, a man will admit to anthing.

  • Tee Dee Um

    circles, step down off your cross for a moment and take off your victim’s hood.

    Policing in 2009 as vastly different from what it was in the 1970s, it would seem that what has not changed is the republicans’ default MOPE setting.

    The police cannot arrest anyone they “fancy” as they are required to have evidence, although, as has been pointed out several times here, arrest is not the end point in the evidence gathering process.

    No one is “suggesting” that “any republican deserves a bit of detention”, again try taking off your MOPE goggles.

    I would not wish to comment on your implicit justification of forty years of violence contained in the last paragraph of your post other than to say with a mindset like that it is good luck to you, and God save the rest of us.

  • kensei

    Archie

    Kensei…..The reason I stop at 28 days is, being a Democrat, I accept the will of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, to which I give my allegiance. Had they agreed on 90 days, then I would have accepted their decision…..may I suggest you do likewise.

    Aside form having bugger allegiance to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, you are abdicating moral responsibility. Something being legal does not make it right. Sadly we have no influence and can have laws we don’t like and can’t change imposed from London. The next best option is to make the police de facto unable to use it here through political pressure.

  • Dec

    Dec obviously believes that you can take someone’s fingerprints, test their DNA against items seized or left behind, e.g. the car that didn’t burn and the balaclavas inside it, before you arrest people. Some evidence might be gleaned beforehand but much of the forensics happens afterwards…..

    Archie

    I basically believe if they were going to charge anyone of those arrested they would have done so by now. We’ve been down this road before with the PSNI (the Northern Bank for example) – decide somebody is guilty early on, hold them as long as possible, charge them then watch as their case evaporates in the first week.

    btw do you seriolusly think that in this case someone down at forensics is telling the PSNI ‘we’ll get back to you in a month’

  • Lomasney

    Just let them out after 7 days if they have nothigon them. Watch them like hawks. They will screw up.

    They are not islamists who would kill millions of infidels if given the opportunity.

  • Gregory

    “Mr Maskey said it was crucial the police showed a “willingness to uphold the highest standard of human rights”. ”

    When did Mr. Maskey or any of his colleagues take a crash course in human rights?

    Gregory

  • shaneog

    Gregory, rather than debate modern history, i suggest you research the conditions in the North in the late sixties, early seventies which gave rise to the existence of Mr Maskey and co.
    There was no crash courses in human rights but certainly a lifetime experience in the lack of them.
    Or was the sorry state of this place a utopia for you or the ‘way to go’ so to speak?
    Put the shinners back on the streets and re-introduce internment, aye, a lot of lives saved there:-).

  • joeCanuck

    Third Policeman;

    I have read Darkness at Noon (about a year ago). It was, as you say, a great book and it was a frightening story.

  • John

    Any person arrested under the terrorism 2000 act and taken to Antrim custody suite are well treated, they are Not deprived of sleep and receive good food and medical attention, interviews are videoed and even the corridors and cells have video and microphones fitted. It is no longer like the 70s / 90s. things have changed, I know as I have been there. I would go as far to say it is like Butlins compared to the old days !

  • Secret Squirrel

    There are loads of video cameras at Stockwell Tube Station but sometimes they’re all out of order.

  • ciaran

    Actually archie most protests against the government are peaceful, petitions etc.You can’t seriously believe that disagreeing with the government is wrong. Because the people have put them in power, it is up to the people to ensure that they toe the line. without public scrutiny the powers that be would run riot.With great power comes great responsibility, our responsibility is to make sure that the government does what we want and not the other way round. That is the very essence of democracy.To do otherwise is to live in a dictatorship.