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Sinn Féin to meet Ombudsman on Eric Anderson file theft scandal

17 October, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone Pat Doherty will tomorrow meet with the Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan to discuss the admissions from former senior Special Branchman Eric Anderson that he had stolen confidential PSNI files in a bid to frustrate the work of the Ombudsman's office.

Mr Doherty said:

" Eric Anderson was involved in many high profile PSNI and RUC investigations. Since he admitted last week on a UTV investigation into the murder of Arlene Arkinson to stealing confidential files in a bid to frustrate the work of the Police Ombudsman I have been contacted by a number of people deeply concerned over the implications about all of this.

" Remarkably neither Peter Hain nor Security Minister Shaun Woodward have made any comment regarding this matter. The PSNI have made no moves to arrest Mr Anderson or retrieve the missing files. Indeed if Eric Anderson had not made the revelations in the first place it seems that the PSNI did not even know that the files were missing.

" Given the nationalist experience of policing over decades and in particular the use of files like this by unionist paramilitaries this unfolding scandal raises very serious issues about future attitudes towards policing in general.

" Sinn Féin will jot be letting this matter drop. I will meet with the Police Ombudsman tomorrow and we will be raising this matter with the British and Irish governments in the time ahead. We have been highlighting for some years the role of the RUC Special Branch old guard both inside and outside the PSNI as they bid to frustrate further policing and political change. The attitude of the PSNI and British government to this case will in a very public way demonstrate if they are at last going to tackle the securocrats head on." ENDS

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