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McGuinness comments on Saville Tribunal

6 May, 2003


Commenting on today's proceedings at the Saville Tribunal in London, Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness said:

" During the course of the Saville Tribunal, a number of bogus and wholly unsubstantiated allegations have been made about my role on Bloody Sunday. All of these come from one so-called British security source, name Infliction, whose existence has not even been proven. This person, if he or she exists, will not appear at the Tribunal to give evidence and, critically, my legal team and the legal representatives of the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday will not be able to cross examine this witness or challenge the allegation that have been made.

" My legal team have, additionally, been informed that the cross examination of the various British intelligence "handlers" and other British Security Service officers who are being called to authenticate the evidence of unnamed informers, will be restricted in an unprecedented manner.

• All material in relation to these matters has either been heavily edited or withheld, including any internal assessment of the reliability of any particular informant.

• The cross-examination of any of these witnesses is to be severely restricted as a result of a ruling by the Tribunal,

• Questions must be submitted in writing first with reasons given for asking those questions.

• These will then be shown to the witnesses and their representatives who can object to the questions.

• Only then can the questions be put with the witnesses able to give carefully prepared answers.

Following consultation with my legal representatives, I have decided that they should not participate in this sham of a cross-examination. In circumstances where those who allegedly made these allegations are not to be brought before the

Tribunal then the very least that can be expected is that a rigorous investigation of those who seek to bring those allegations to the Tribunal will be allowed. I am being denied the right to challenge unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations made about me by an anonymous individual. I have therefore instructed my lawyers not to engage in this restricted and meaningless form of cross-examination.

Despite the denial of my rights I will continue to assist the families of those killed on Bloody Sunday in whatever way I can to establish the truth that their loved ones were murdered by the British Army on Bloody Sunday.

My lawyers appeared on my behalf this morning to outline directly to the Tribunal my reasons for this decision.

Unlike Infliction I will be appearing in person before the Tribunal when it returns to Derry" ENDS

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