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Questions need answered after acquittal of four Castlederg nationalists - Doherty

21 February, 2008

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty says that the Court acquittal of four young Castlederg nationalists on all charges relating to events following a loyalist band parade in the town last August raises serious questions about the PSNI's conduct in the case.

Mr Doherty said,

"The backdrop of this case was that following a Loyalist Band Parade in Castlederg last August some of its participants went on a rampage in the nationalist Ferguson Crescent area in the early hours of the next morning carrying out assaults and damage to property.

"Despite this, four young nationalists found themselves arrested, charged, brought before the courts and subject to the most stringent of bail conditions.

"Since then the four have vigorously contested the charges that were brought against them by the PSNI and they have been fully vindicated by events at Strabane Courthouse this morning whereby the judge not only acquitted them of all charges but was also highly critical of the PSNI's contempt for legal procedure and the flawed evidential basis on which the defendants were identified, arrested and brought before the courts in this case.

"Undoubtedly the four will now be consulting with their legal representatives about what has happened.

"However, it is clear that the PSNI have questions to answer about its conduct in this case and as MP for the area, and particularly in the context of the long standing problems surrounding parades in Castlederg, I will be seeking to take this issue further in the days ahead." ENDS

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