Lord Carlile: “Peace is in no small way the result of these efforts by PSNI and MI5 personnel.”

On 20th March the Order in Council extending the operations of the UK National Crime Agency to Northern Ireland came into power – despite the challenge that presents to the Speaker of the NI Assembly – bringing us into line with the rest of the UK in the process. On the same date the NI Secretary of State of State, Theresa Villiers, made a written statement to the House of Commons on the report by Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of national security …

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“At the time Sinn Féin condemned the arrest and subsequent charges and pointed to a political motivation behind the entire episode…”

The BBC reports that the long running saga of the charges against “prominent Co Tyrone republican” Brian Arthurs, who was named in this 2005 Times report as a member of the PIRA army council, and his wife, Paula Anne, has ended with guilty pleas to “three charges of obtaining a money transfer by deception and two counts of possessing £31,718 worth of criminal property”. The couple from Finulagh Road, Castlecaulfield, had been due to stand trial at Belfast Crown Court. But they …

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“it is necessary to extend the Non-Jury Trial system at this time…”

In March 2010 the then-Criminal Justice Minister Paul Goggins announced a “comprehensive review [], including a full public consultation” of the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 provisions for non-jury trials “before it next falls to be renewed in July 2011” – those provisions had previously been extended in 2009. Today the NI Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, announced that he is “laying before Parliament an Order to extend the Non-Jury trial provisions for a further period of two years”.  From the NI Secretary of State’s …

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