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Public Prosecution Service (PPS) protecting Stoneyford Loyalist

1 October, 2008

Lagan Valley Sinn Féin MLA Paul Butler accusing the Public Prosecution Service, PPS, of 'colluding in the protection of Mark Harbinson' who was involved in intimidating the elected representative from Stoneyford last February.

Mr Butler said: "I received a letter from the PPS on Monday informing me that they were not prosecuting Mark Harbinson who was involved in intimidating me from Stoneyford village last February.

"At the time of the intimidation I was being filmed by a UTV crew about a catholic family who were also being forced out of the village by a group of loyalists who live in the village.

"Mark Harbisnon is captured on television verbally abusing me in the village and again when he followed me out of the village and continued the abuse.

"It is therefore incredible that the PPS decision is based on "insufficient evidence available to afford a reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction".

"The refusal by the PPS to prosecute Harbinson is not at all surprising. Indeed during the ten year campaign of intimidation by Stoneyford loyalists of Catholics who live in the village the PSNI have not arrested a single loyalist nor have the PPS prosecuted a single loyalist.

"The PPS letter is further confirmation, if any was needed, that those behind the sectarian campaign of intimidation are being protected by the police and prosecuting authorities."

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