Reacting to the revelation regarding the 187 OTRs (On The Runs), Ulster Unionist Leader, Mike Nesbitt MLA, said:
“For six months, we sat in good faith in the Haass process. Since then, we have sat in equally good faith in the Party Leaders’ process, trying to deal with three complicated issues, including Dealing with the Past.
“We now discover Sinn Féin are proposing the establishment of a Historical Investigation Unit, with full police powers, but acting totally independently of the PSNI, knowing it cannot land a glove on former IRA terrorists. We already knew their weapons were beyond use, literally and evidentially. Now we discover, 187 people have Get Out Of Jail cards in their back pockets. This is simply bad faith and unacceptable.
“When it comes to negotiations, there is no way forward when some act in bad faith, when it’s all about “me, me, me”, when they want 70 and 80 year old former soldiers sent to jail for something that happened over 40 years ago on Bloody Sunday, while demanding an amnesty for people suspected of blowing up soldiers in Hyde Park.
“The Party Leaders’ process is now in crisis. We need clarity about who has these letters, and who knew. Sinn Féin sat at the talks with that knowledge. Who else knew? Peter Hain says Peter Robinson should have. Does the current Justice Minister, who also sits at the talks? What else does Sinn Féin have up their sleeves?
“Last week, the Prime Minister refused £150,000 funding to Colin Parry of the Warrington Peace Centre for a scheme that helps traumatised soldiers and their families in GB. I call on Mr Cameron to reverse that decision and make the money available immediately. And I call on Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness to support my call. The last 24 hours will have been hugely traumatising to the families who lost loved ones on 20 July 1982 in Hyde Park. The least we can do is offer them practical support”.