The Ulster Unionist Party’s Justice spokesperson, Doug Beattie MC MLA, has called on Arlene Foster to clarify the DUP’s position on the introduction of a Statute of Limitations, which would lead to a general amnesty.
Doug Beattie MC MLA, said:
“In November 2017 the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader - Arlene Foster - expressed her concern about the potential implications of a Statute of Limitations (SoL) for military personnel involved in Operation BANNER.
“At the time we in the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) welcomed her intervention as - after receiving legal advice - it was clear that any SoL could result in a general amnesty, which would allow those responsible for some of worst human rights abuses in our recent history to escape justice or the indeed the threat of justice.
“Such an amnesty would also give terrorists equivalence with those who stood between the terrorists and the terrorised - our brave security forces – and that would be unacceptable.
“Having called for the DUP leader to bring her MPs into line it is now absolutely clear she does not have control over her party. Yet again a DUP MP has called for a SoL and even now, two other MPs names remain on the bill to be brought before Westminster, completely at odds with their party leader’s stance.
“It is also worth noting that even Conservative and Labour MPs have realised that a SoL will mean a general amnesty for troubles related crimes and have therefore taken a step towards calling for just that.
“As the UUP Justice spokesperson I can be no clearer than this.
“Those who broke the law must face the law be they soldier, policeman, member of the public or elected representative. This justice should be delivered fairly, proportionately and with a balance that does not focus unfairly on the security services. We do not support anything that subverts the rule of law or anything that would deny victims justice in the form of an amnesty.
“Again we call on the DUP leader to explain her party’s position on a SoL given the legal evidence and advice that is in the public domain. If she remains concerned - as we are - that it will lead to an amnesty, then she should instruct her MPs accordingly. Her party should then join us in calling for the on-the-run letters of comfort to be withdrawn and given no legal standing in law as well as asking for structural changes to the proposed legacy mechanisms they agreed with Sinn Fein as part of the Stormont House Agreement which has led to this imbalance.”