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UTV expose Special Branch files scandal

13 October, 2005

Commenting after an admission on UTV Insight last night by former Special Branchman Eric Anderson that he removed confidential files from the PSNI and was attempting to sell them to journalists Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone Pat Doherty demanded that the British government get to grips with the role being played by former senior figures in the Special Branch.

Mr Doherty said:

"Eric Anderson was a very senior figure within both the RUC and PSNI Special Branch. Last night on a programme on the failed investigation into the murder of Arlene Arkinson, Anderson he was secretly filmed attempting to sell confidential papers relating to the case to the UTV team. Anderson then went on to confirm that he had removed other files from the PSNI in a bid to frustrate the work being carried out by the Police Ombudsman Nuala O‚Loan. I will be in contact with the Police Ombudsman to discuss this very serious matter.

"Anderson has been involved in countless high profile cases and the revelation that he has stolen files will cause immense unease within a wide section of society given the already well documented negative role which the Special Branch has played here for decades, including the supply of information to loyalist death squads.

"Last nights revelations fit into a pattern which has been emerging for some time. Former RUC Special Branch figures hostile to the development of the peace process have been using their positions to try and undermine the process. How many others have illegally removed files and evidence?

"People will now watch closely the response of the PSNI to all of this. Anderson has admitted on camera to very serious offences. This case may well become an acid test of the British government commitment to tackling the securocrats within its own system who have for so long tried to undermine and frustrate political progress." ENDS

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