As Newton Emerson notes in today’s Irish News – on some of the coverage of the arrest and questioning of Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, in relation to the abduction, murder, and secret burial of Jean McConville in 1972.
Mystery surrounds BBC claims that the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) would not be bringing charges against Gerry Adams. The BBC began reporting this on early Monday evening, barely 24 hours after Adams had been released pending a file to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS). This seemed very fast for the notoriously slow PPS to reach an initial view, not least on a bank holiday. The file was presumably voluminous, or so the BBC must have assumed, having spent Sunday reporting that Adams had endured “up to 17 hors a day” of questioning. On Thursday, the PPS revealed it has not even received the file, as it will take police several weeks to compile it. So where had the BBC’s story come from? Might its source have been the same as its source on the 17 hours of questioning?
Indeed. That source was, of course, described in the BBC report as being “close to” Gerry Adams. [Was it Ted?! – Ed] No. [Not the bunny?!! – Ed] Again, no. [Anyway, Gerry says he’s innocent! – Ed] Well he would, wouldn’t he? [And that he’s not an MI5 agent… – Ed]
To be fair to the BBC, they did mention, briefly, that “Northern Ireland’s director of public prosecutions Barra McGrory said he understood it would be “a few weeks” before [the file] would be sent.”
But they appear to have missed an equally, if not more, important point
The Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland has said it could be “many many months” before a decision is made on whether or not Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams will be prosecuted in connection with the abduction and murder of Jean McConville in 1972.
When Mr Adams was released after four days of questioning, the PSNI said a file on the case would be compiled and sent to the DPP for consideration.
This morning, DPP Barra McGrory said the file had not yet been received from the PSNI.
He said he expected it would contain a “voluminous amount of material”, including documents from the US.
Mr McGrory said it could be months before his office makes a decision on the file after it is received from the PSNI.
He said it would not be uncommon in major cases for a file to take many months to be considered. [added emphasis]
As a former legal advisor to Mr Adams, Mr McGrory is not handling his case at the DPP and it has been given to a deputy director to consider.
Possibly pending a public interest test…