Ulster Unionist Justice Spokesperson Tom Elliott has described the revelations that 187 terror suspects were given written assurances by the British Government when Peter Hain was Secretary of State in a secret deal as “a disgrace.”
Mr Elliott said:
“This news is an appalling indictment of Peter Hain and the past Labour Government in their behind the scenes dealings. It also raises questions about who was involved in this decision making process.
“The fingerprints of the Northern Ireland Office are all over this. Whoever they are, wherever they are, they should be sacked. Who instructed them to write the letter? They had no right whatsoever to do this.
“The scale of this is breath-taking. We are not talking about an isolated cases but 187 letters issued.
“John Downey was wanted by the Metropolitan Police in connection with a brutal and savage crime. No piece of paper should be allowed to shield him from justice.
“The fact that this should be revealed in the very week when the PSNI have set up a special unit to re-investigate Bloody Sunday, with the aim of putting 70 year old ex-soldiers in the dock makes this even more galling.
“The contrast is both stark and unacceptable.”