Tuesday, January 11, 2005

PSNI chief out of order

An interesting letter from the Irish Independent:

Unsubstantiated claims from the Chief Constable of the PSNI, Mr Hugh Orde, that the IRA was responsible for the robbery of stgĀ£26.5m from the Northern Bank in Belfast must be viewed with some scepticism. The history of the police in Northern Ireland is one of anti-Catholic and anti-nationalist bigotry.

Successive investigations commissioned by the British Government, which included reports from the London Metropolitan Commissioner John Stevens, the former governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten, and the retired Canadian judge Justice Peter Cory, all found evidence of collusion by security forces with loyalist death squads which targeted members of the Catholic community.

If it emerges that there was IRA involvement in the robbery, then those responsible should be made accountable under the law. In the meantime, innocence must be assumed in accordance with democratic principles. For the Chief Constable of one of the most discredited police forces in the world to make such serious allegations in the absence of any solid evidence is outrageous.

Already, the political implications of Mr Orde's allegations have impacted most negatively on the peace process, much to the delight of Ian Paisley and his power-sharing rejectionists in the DUP.


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