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SDLP move undermined the Good Friday Agreement - Kelly

3 February, 2015 - by Gerry Kelly


Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said today the SDLP had jumped too early in a negotiation to create robust accountability mechanisms for the National Crime Agency.

Gerry Kelly said:

“We were involved in a negotiation on the NCA and significant gains had been made on accountability of the NCA to the Policing Board and the Police Ombudsman, the Criminal Justice Inspectorate and the HMIC. 

“However, in my view the SDLP has jumped too soon as they did on Patten and gave away the leverage to achieve more.

"The issue of accountability is at the core of the debate on the NCA. 

"It is the view of Sinn Féin that the PSNI is more than capable and has the duty to tackle all crime and we fully support them in that endeavour, however, they must be accountable. 

"Under this proposal, the British Home Secretary can extend the powers and remit of the NCA without reference to the Executive, the Assembly or even Westminster. 

"This opens up questions about the NCA's relationship with MI5 and other security services. 

"MI5 have no arresting arm in the North and we do not want the NCA to assume that role. 

"Sinn Féin has also problems with the process used to bring this motion to the Assembly. The Justice Minister’s name is not on the motion.

“This process was about circumventing the Executive and in my opinion the SDLP should have not been involved in undermining the Good Friday Agreement.”

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