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Sinn Fein accuse PSNI of protecting Stoneyford loyalist Mark Harbinson

5 November, 2008

Sinn Fein says that elements within the PSNI are protecting Stoneyford loyalist Mark Harbinson. Sinn Fein's claims come after it was revealed by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) stated that they did not proceed with charges against Mark Harbinson due to the failure of the PSNI to submit their investigation file on time.

Sinn Fein's Lagan Valley MLA Paul Butler said:

"I received a letter from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) informing me, that they were not prosecuting Mark Harbinson who was involved in intimidating me from Stoneyford village last February, because the PSNI failed to send their investigation file to the PPS within the six month time limit.

"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 Stoneyford. Mark Harbinson 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 incredible to believe that the PSNI failed to send this file to the PPS on time and the conclusion that many will come to,is that there are elements within the PSNI who are protecting this person and that the delay in sending this file to the PPS was deliberate

"During the ten year campaign of intimidation by Stoneyford loyalists of Catholics who live in the village the PSNI have not arrested or charged 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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