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Sinn Féin to meet British Minister on PSNI files theft cases

24 October, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on policing and justice issues Gerry Kelly will be joined by the party spokesperson on Truth issues Philip McGuigan for a meeting tomorrow morning with the British Direct Rule security Minister Sean Woodward. The meeting will discuss growing concerns about the theft of files and other confidential material by former and serving Special Branch members.

Speaking this afternoon Mr Kelly said:

" Sinn Féin have for some time been concerned about the role being played both inside and outside the current policing structures by the RUC old guard as they seek to frustrate further political and policing change.

" In recent times there has been a series of cases involving former Special Branch figures and the theft of confidential material subsequently used to cause political impact or to frustrate the work of bodies like the Police Ombudsman's office.

" Last weeks admission on UTV by former Special Branchman Eric Anderson that he was involved in stealing files to frustrate the work of the Police Ombudsman adds further urgency to tomorrows meeting.

" Last week Pat Doherty raised these general concerns and more specific concerns about the Arlene Arkinson case with the Police Ombudsman. We will raise these again in our discussions with Shaun Woodward tomorrow." ENDS

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