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Statement by Reg Empey about the alleged IRA spy ring at Stormont in October 2002, (9 December 2005)

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Text: Reg Empey ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Statement by Reg Empey, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), following the withdrawal of prosecutions in connection with an alleged IRA spy ring at Stormont in October 2002, (9 December 2005)


"Is this another Sean Kelly incident where criminal justice is turned on its head? The events of autumn 2002, with the high profile and pre-publicised raid on Sinn Fein offices at Stormont, was the straw that broke the camel's back for devolution. Everybody in government and in the security forces would have known that.

Now we find an extraordinary development, when an unlisted case, on a day when Her Majesty the Queen and President McAleese just happen to be in town, is dropped against those charged with offences related to the spy scandal. But they are not just dropped. They are not being pursued 'in the public interest’, and the PSNI are not seeking other persons in this case!

If there is insufficient evidence against the men it is right that they be released. But that is not what is implied by the DPP. The public is left in limbo, with a cloud of suspicion hanging over the case. Was there a 'dirty deal? Is this another concession to republicans?'

Ian Paisley is angry and is seeking a meeting with Peter Hain. Ian won the assembly elections of 2003 on the promise of bringing concessions to republicans to an end. He has failed to do so as the number of concessions continues to grow. He clearly has no influence with government which does exactly what it wants in pursuit of its own agenda.

Ian is gradually learning that the abuse he and his party heaped on Ulster Unionists now applies to himself! It is not as easy as he thought to prevent a determined government from doing its own thing with republicans.

It is perfectly clear that a new approach to our political situation is needed in the New Year as we lurch from one abuse of our legal system to another."


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