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Adams criticises release of Patrick Crossan

15 September, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan, Westminster


Speaking today after the release of one of those involved in the murder of Harry Holland west Belfast MP Gerry Adams said:


“The release of Patrick Crossan has angered the west Belfast community and highlighted once again the shameful manner in which the Public Prosecution Service dealt with those responsible for the murder of Harry Holland”.

Mr. Adams said:


“In July Stephen McKee, was sentenced to life, with a recommended minimum 12 years. Patrick Crossan from Willowbank Gardens was sentenced to four years for attempted affray and having an offensive weapon. And a 17-year-old girl was placed on a probation order for two years.


Along with the family I expressed my outrage at the deal done to reduce the charges in the case of Crossan and the girl and of the leniency of the subsequent sentences.


I am deeply dissatisfied with the way this case has been handled by the Public Prosecution Service and by the judiciary.


The manner, in which the PPS and DPP dealt with the murder of Harry Holland and the secret deal done in respect of two of the accused, was shameful.


The legal authorities have failed to provide an acceptable reason to explain or justify their decisions in this case.

I have asked for a meeting with the British Attorney General on this issue and this should take place in the next short while.


I also wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions on these matters and he has yet to reply.


The PPS needs to change. There needs to be a root and branch examination of how prosecution cases are conducted. We must ensure that we attain a prosecution service which is truly independent, accountable and which has the confidence of all sections of the community.

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