JOHN DOWNEY: JUDGE SAID HE HAD GUARANTEE

first_imgFOLLOWING his clearance in London today, the judge in the John Downey case ruled that so-called ‘On The Runs’ had been given a guarantee by the British government that they would not face prosecution.It was part of a deal between the British and Sinn Fein during the peace process.Mr Justice Sweeney said: “When the defendant received his [2007 assurance] letter he was entitled to and did believe that it was the product of careful and competent further work, and that there had been a genuine and correct change of mind about him – particularly given that he was a supporter of the peace process. “However, that assurance was wholly wrong… thus, as the prosecution conceded, the defendant was wholly misled.“Clearly, and notwithstanding [the Good Friday Agreement], the public interest in ensuring that those who are accused of serious crime should be tried is a very strong one with the plight of the victims and their families firmly in mind.“However, in the very particular circumstances of this case it seems to me that it is very significantly outweighed in the balancing exercise by the overlapping public interests in ensuring that executive misconduct does not undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system and bring it into disrepute, and the public interest in holding officials of the state to promises they have made in full understanding of what is involved in the bargain.“Hence I have concluded that this is one of those rare cases in which, in the particular circumstances, it offends the court’s sense of justice and propriety to be asked to try the defendant.”The Hyde Park attack is one of the most significant unsolved IRA bombings of The Troubles. One other person was convicted in relation to the deaths before being later cleared on appeal.The bomb that Mr Downey was accused of planting was the first of two that day in London and he was allegedly linked to the attack by fingerprints found on a parking ticket bought for the car used to transport the bomb.In the second explosion, less than two hours later, seven Royal Green Jackets bandsmen in a Regent’s Park bandstand were killed.JOHN DOWNEY: JUDGE SAID HE HAD GUARANTEE was last modified: February 25th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:John Downeyjudgementlast_img

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