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Public Prosecution Service must be genuinely free from interference

13 June, 2005

Sinn Féin Policing and Justice Spokesperson, North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has welcomed the launch of the new Public Prosecution Service but said that it must be genuinely independent and free from political interference.

Mr Kelly said:

"In negotiations Sinn Féin consistently argued for the creation of an Independent Public Prosecution Service. This is the culmination of that hard work. However, as with all policing and justice changes that have been achieved, there continues to be internal resistance to the process of change.

"There also remains a serious crisis of confidence particularly in the handling of political cases.

"The process of delivering change is not complete and Sinn Fein will closely monitor developments to ensure that we do have a new beginning to the way that prosecutions are handled.

"Essential to completing the development of a genuinely Independent Public Prosecution Service is the need to ensure that it is both free from political interference and free from political and cultural bias. Central to this is the need to for a change of personnel at the upper echelons of the old prosecution service. There is no point attempting a break with the failed DPP agenda of the past if the same people continue in position." ENDS

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