Sinn Féin - On Your Side

‘Vindictive’ police tactic backfires

18 August, 2008

Sinn Féin Councillor Billy Leonard has heavily criticised the PSNI after charges against him and fourteen others in relation to a peaceful protest at a Kilrea twelfth of July march in 2005 were dropped.

The process took over three years, numerous adjournments and Leonard and his colleagues believe it was the personal ambition of one, now retired, police officer which drove the process.

Leonard said:

"This was a disaster for the police and has cost a lot of money including flying a police witness from Australia; all that for the charges to be dropped on the morning of the case.

"The most senior officer told people on the day there would be no charges. Then police officers who took statements three years ago also told all of us that there would be no charges. Yet a mad and expensive paper chase ensued because this officer couldn't follow the common sense of colleagues in other more contentious situations.

"It was a disgraceful waste of time and effort and defied logic. Vindictiveness took over but I am sure there are now red faces among the police: but they are very costly blushes." ENDS

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