Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA has accused the British government and elements of the PSNI of “pursuing a negative and destructive political agenda”.
Mr. McGuinness said:
“Yesterday I said that the timing of the arrest of Gerry Adams was politically motivated.
Today’s decision by the PSNI to seek an extension confirms me in my view.
The arrest of Gerry Adams at this time is inextricably linked to the Local Government and EU elections that will take place across this island in three weeks.
Sinn Féin fully supports the fair and democratic implementation of policing and justice but it is clear that there are elements of the PSNI – what some in that force have described to us as the Dark Side – who continue to work to a negative and anti-peace process agenda and are involved in political policing.
Peter Robinson has said that if the police have evidence and don’t act on it that this would be political policing.
The British Secretary of State claims that no one should be above the law.
I agree with both statements but the reality is much different.
There is clear evidence of political policing and of the difference of approach and treatment taken in dealing with those who are members or former members of British state forces and those who are republican and nationalist.
· For example: the British Parachute Regiment murdered 14 people on the streets of Derry in 1972. The PSNI know the soldiers who did this. Have they acted on this evidence? No. Is this political policing? Yes it is.
· The PSNI know who killed 11 civilians in Ballymurphy in 1971. Not one has been arrested. Is this political policing? Yes it is.
· Last week Theresa Villiers told the Ballymurphy families there would be no review of their cases. Is this political interference? Yes it is.
· The British Government refuses to provide information and evidence it has on the Dublin/Monaghan bombings which killed 33 citizens. Is this political interference in the justice system? Yes it is.
· In a key note speech two weeks ago, the British Secretary of State criticised what she described as the one sided focus on state killings. Is this political interference in policing and the justice system? Yes it is.
The indisputable fact is that for 40 years there has been a virtual amnesty for British state forces involved in killing citizens both directly and through state collusion with unionist death squads.
There are many progressive and open-minded elements in the new policing arrangements who are wedded to accountable and impartial policing.
I want to emphasis my absolute support for them in their efforts to deliver impartial and accountable policing.
But there is a small cabal in the PSNI who have a different agenda – a negative and destructive agenda to both the peace process and to Sinn Féin.
Sinn Féin under the leadership of Gerry Adams will not allow these elements to succeed.