Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said today that the family of Gareth O’Connor deserve access to the truth after an inquest into his death was postponed today.
Gerry Kelly said:
“I was made aware that my name was mentioned in court today in connection with an ‘on the run’ (OTR) letter issued by the NIO.
“I haven’t been told who the alleged recipient of the letter was.
"It is a matter of public knowledge that my name was attached to OTR letters as the conduit person for Sinn Féin.
"If someone approached Sinn Féin and asked Sinn Féin to enquire if they were wanted for questioning by the PSI, I would take four pieces of information from them; their full name, date of birth, what area of the North they had lived in and when they left the jurisdiction.
“No other information was sought by me or given to me.
"Those details were then passed to the NIO and the process after that belonged to the NIO and the British government.
"The NIO informed Sinn Féin that they then checked with the various constabularies and if word came back to Sinn Féin that a person was not wanted a letter was issued and that letter would be addressed to the recipient but would include’ via Gerry Kelly’ on it. I had no other role in these cases.
"That is the full extent of my knowledge in all of these cases, including the one alluded to in these reports.
"In relation to this particular case, I went to meet Gareth O'Connor's family at their request and told them that I did not have any information about the disappearance of their son and that remains the case.
"This family deserves access to truth and I would support them in that."