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Excuses running out for retention of immunity for prosecution

23 September, 2004


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Regional Development, Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has said that excuses for delaying the removal of immunity from crown prosecution for water services , and other government agencies and departments, has run out.

Responding to reports that Water services may face massive daily fines if it refuses to scrap crown immunity Mr McCartney said:

"There is no case to be made for any government department or agency having crown immunity from prosecution.

"Crown immunity has provided a tool to protect water services and other government agencies from prosecutions resulting from damage caused by pollution.

"At present the removal of crown immunity is linked to the establishment of the GoCo proposed under the current plans to introduce water charging. There is almost total opposition to the moving in this direction that Sinn Féin and many others believe is just the first step on the road to privatisation.

"However, the fact remains that there is nothing to stop legislation being brought forward very quickly that would stop Water Services, or indeed all other agencies, from abusing crown immunity. The excuses for delaying the removal of immunity from crown prosecution for water services, and other government agencies and departments, have run out" ENDS

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