SF demand explanation on Gough files destruction
Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly, spokesperson on Policing, has said that revelations that important documentation and evidence from files in Gough Barracks, has been destroyed on the pretext of asbestos contamination requires further explanation from the PSNI.
Mr Kelly said:
"It is now well-documented that the RUC tried to cover-up the role of its agents and their Special Branch handlers and controllers in the killings of many citizens. The fact that the PSNI have now revealed that important files previously held in Gough Barracks in Armagh had been destroyed by the RUC as the result of a policy-decision is deeply alarming.
“Indeed Sinn Féin have already been contacted by families this morning angry at this revelation and I will be raising that matter at a Policing Board meeting tomorrow. So far the PSNI stance raises more questions than answers. The Chief Constable needs to tell families who took this decision to destroy important files and how this procedure was conducted.
"Most people will find it inexplicable how in 1998 the RUC were unable to retain paperwork, supposedly on grounds of asbestos contamination, whenever 5 years later, in 2003, the PSNI was still able to detain people in the very same barracks with no such concerns.
"The onus to disclose information now rests on the PSNI. As a result of an important legal victory by families and their advocates, the conduct of inquests in compliance with Article 2 of the European Court of Human Rights will require full disclosure from the PSNI and others. Sinn Féin has already raised this important obligation at the Policing Board. In light of these latest revelations, we will be liaising with families and their representatives and pursuing this matter further."