“to disclose puts other people at risk.”

Out-going PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde has elaborated somewhat on the police statement made on the decision not to proceed with charges against Larry Zaitschek. From a Press Association report.

He said it was not the first time such a situation had arisen. “That’s my real frustration because we can’t talk in detail about these cases because of competing human rights basically, other people’s rights to life,” he said. Intelligence material kept secret had nothing to do with the PSNI and he was holding nothing back, he insisted. “What I can say is that there is nothing within my intelligence systems that I was not prepared to release to enable a fair trial to take place.

“There is a clue in that the issues that arose were out with my jurisdiction and I will not have my service criticised for something that was out with my responsibility. I think that would be very unfair,” he said. He added: “This is not the first case where the law of disclosure, as interpreted by the courts, has meant we have to make that hard choice – to disclose puts other people at risk. We cannot disclose, therefore the trial cannot take place because it cannot be seen to be fair.”

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  • fin

    Pete, its always obvious when you’re trying to spin something because there is an absense of the multiple links you’re so fond of.

    The facts are that this is Orde trying to escape from a court case launched by Zaitschek concerning a breakin at Castlereagh that Ronnie Flannaghan said was most likely an ‘inside job’

    Orde is now trying to spin that recent evidence is the reason the PSNI didn’t request extradition several years ago. He’s trying to claim that this situation has arisen before, but no examples.

  • “we have to make that hard choice”

    Why is Orde using ‘we’ if the choice isn’t his to make?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Orde is clearly trying to offload blame before he heads to ACPO. But on who?

  • fin

    Hardly offloading blame Gonzo, he’s just ending yet another chapter on political policing, unionism will bark a bit and then start looking forward to the next trial by media handed out by the cops. Most of the rubbish fed to the public by the PSNI via the media doesn’t add up, however, the majority want to play along and so don’t ask questions. Sometimes it all goes a little wrong when cases solve themselves as with Gareth O’Conor, but in those situations the media, cops, and unionism, just start whistling and wander off hands in pockets

  • Mirko

    Did anyone really believe at the time of the Castlereagh break-in and more specifically when Larry Zaitschek was arrested that he would be succesfully prosecuted? That security was so lax that a breakfast cook could break into a room containing thousands of important files, know what he was supposed to be seeking, copy or steal said files without anyone seeing him, and then leave the building with a bag stuffed with sensitive information? From the very beginning it has been extremely clear to anyone with a brain that MI5 worked with their agents in the IRA to engineer the so-called break-in at a moment that was politically opportune for them. The same people in MI5 who allowed innocent people to die to protect their own agents within the ranks of extreme political groups. The same people who know of no moral boundary that cannot be crossed to further their own agenda. The same people who represent the ethical cesspool in which the British establishment delights in paddling around. Start by civilising yourselves…

  • IRIA

    I’m not convinced it was even the IRA that did the job.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    How would you say it was politically opportune, Mirko, just out of interest?

  • Recently, other material (which did not originate from the PSNI or the security and intelligence agencies) was drawn to the attention of the PSNI.

    If that is correct, it would seem to exclude MI5, MI6 and probably GCHQ. It doesn’t obviously exclude the Army. Could that be significant, given the presence of FRU/Joint Support Group on the premises and the history of burglaries linked to them?

  • Mirko

    Just in the same way that the Robert McCartney murder was deliberately kept in the media spotlight to put the pressure on the IRA. Putting this break-in at the door of republicans allowed unionists to put pressure on them to complete decommissioning and the other requirements of the Agreement.

  • fin

    The PSNI had a 3000 page case against Zaitschek several years ago, put his wife and kid in witness protection and said they were asking for his extradition to be charged and stand trial.

    In 2006 when Zaitschek decided to take the PSNI to court, they said they were asking for his extradition to be charged and stand trial.

    In 2009 when they had to put up or shut up they claimed recent evidence meant they couldn’t continue.

    Next step is for Zaitschek’s lawyers to go for damages, possibly join the growing number of civil cases against the government which are currently been prepared on behalf of nationalists

  • Belfast Gonzo


    At the time I thought it might have been to do the opposite – enabling pressure on the Branch to go out of business by embarrassing them.

  • Mirko

    Either way we’re agreed that there was a dark hand involved and that there was no way there was going to be a prosecution of Larry Zaitschek. Unless he was made a scapegoat like poor Ted Cunningham.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Everyone knows that pira were behind the break-in, they’ll not admit to it for a few years (just like killing postmen and garda during their many robberies) but it was them for sure. I wouldn’t need to tell too long a Storey to say who was behind it either.

  • Comrade Stalin

    What compelled Larry to leave the country immediately after the break in ? Just wondering. How did he know they were about to try to arrest him ?

  • Paul


    Standard operating practice …. blaim the nearest defensless taig

  • fin

    CS, Larry Zaitschek had resigned prior to the breakin with the intention of going back to the states, after the breakin he was interviewed by the police thanked for his services in the kitchen and told he could return to the states, for the 2nd time Pete has restrained his linking otherwise I’m sure he would have linked to that fact, along with the fact that Larry Zaitschek had to bring the PSNI to court to move things forward….or not

    Intelligent Insider are you saying it wasn’t Larry Zaitschek or are you saying he was in the IRA, do tell, I under stand his legal team are quite keen to get people into court

    I wouldn’t rely on Orde as a witness

  • Intelligence Insider

    I couldn’t possibly comment on whether Larry was aware of what his many friends in sf/pira had planned.

  • Pete Baker


    “Pete, its always obvious when you’re trying to spin something because there is an absense of the multiple links you’re so fond of.”

    I realise that for some people I’m to be considered “fair game”.

    But, really.

  • Comrade Stalin


    I appreciate your explanation of the detail, but it just looks awful damn coincidental that he left to go to the USA two days after it all happened, and was in such a rush that he left his wife and small child behind.

    I did a bit of googling, and the story is very sad, especially the part about his young son. I don’t know at what point the wife became an ex-wife, and that point becomes interesting when you read the part about the ex-wife allegedly being under witness protection as a key prosecution witness in the trial.

  • I realise that for some people I’m to be considered “fair game”.

    Posted by Pete Baker on Jul 07, 2009 @ 11:24 PM

    Jesus wept. Pete “The Martyr” Baker. Spare us your cloying sanctimony. You know exactly why some people feel compelled to challenge your musings: and, obviously, you love it.

  • fin

    I couldn’t possibly comment on whether Larry was aware of what his many friends in sf/pira had planned.”

    Intelligence Insider, I wasn’t joking when I said Zaitschek’s legal team are a bit heavy handed, fair play to you you won’t find many comments on the web where people will stick their neck and claim he was associated with/or in the IRA as you have, like I said earlier I hope you can back your statements up independently,

    CS, Zaitschek had left his job at Castlereagh prior to the breakin and had only returned to use the gym which many non Castlereagh employees did, he had also split from his wife sometime earlier hence his plans to return to the US, and as I said he didn’t exactly rush off, he was interviewed by the PSNI and given permission to leave the country.

    Pete, it can hardly be ‘playing the man’ to point out that with certain stories blogged by you there are an absense of links, I stand by my comments that links to Ronnie Flannaghans “inside job” comments and Zaitschek actually taking the PSNI to court, not to mention the PSNIs failure to launch extradition proceedings in 7 years would shine a different light on this. Also previously you claimed you believed this and Stormontgate were connected, your 2nd blog would have been a good time to put your cards on the table. Also a bit surprised that you neglected to mention Stevens in all of this, so no, you have purposely written these blogs to present them in a certain light by omitting a lot of facts and I’ve called you on it, harsh but fair

  • ramsey

    Apparently the fat cops at Castlereagh loved Larry because he could do a mean whaffles and eggs-sunny side up of course…