‘Despicable’ local lobby

I’ve done nothing wrong, says Adams

By Francesca Ryan

Gerry Adams says he knows he “committed no offence” in response to claims he withheld information  about his brother Liam.

He was speaking after it was announced the Police Ombudsman is to examine the PSNI’s handling of the case against Liam Adams. The office has received a complaint from three DUP MLAs who complained that the police did not properly investigate a witness statement about the abuse allegations.  The witness in question is former West Belfast MP Gerry Adams.

That complaint came as the Attorney General said he would review a decision not to prosecute Gerry Adams for allegedly withholding information on his brother.

The Sinn Féin President’s brother, Liam, was found guilty last week of raping and sexually abusing his daughter, Áine. Mr Adams gave evidence against his brother in the first trial, which was stopped for legal reasons. He was not called to give evidence in the second trial, which ended last week.

At the first trial in April this year, Gerry Adams said his brother admitted to him that he had sexually abused his daughter during “a walk in the rain” in Dundalk in 2000.

Gerry Adams made his first report to the police about the allegations in 2007. In 2009, he made a second statement to police, telling officers that his brother Liam had confessed to him nine years earlier.

Speaking during Assembly question time on Tuesday,  DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots welcomed the conviction of Liam Adams but said the PSNI had questions to answer and the Ombudsman should investigate the PSNI’s handling of the case. He, along with two colleagues, has since submitted a complaint to the Police Ombudsman.

Earlier this week, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory, asked Attorney General John Larkin to review the decision not to prosecute Gerry Adams.

Responding to the review order, Gerry Adams said he is confident he has committed no offence and has co-operated fully with the police, the Public Prosecution Service and the courts.

“I know that I committed no offence and I know that I did what I considered to be the right thing and that I co-operated fully with the PSNI, with the PPS, with the courts, that I gave evidence in the courts,” he said. “So I don’t have any concerns about that.  I obviously am concerned that as members of my family pick up the newspapers this morning, and on the back of this press conference will pick up the newspapers tomorrow morning, and wonder why there is such an inordinate attention on this and on me. So that’s my primary concern, my primary concern isn’t about me.”

He also criticised the reaction of his political foes and said he took exception to “a quite despicable lobby that’s going on” in relation the case and said there was “quite a contrived reaction in some quarters”.

 

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