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Sinn Féin call for Hain statement on missing files

18 November, 2005

Sinn Fein Policing Spokesperson, North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has called on the British Secretary of State Peter Hain to make a statement after it was confirmed that his details were among files stolen from Castlereagh last year found in the possession of Loyalists.

Mr Kelly said:

"Across Belfast a large number of republicans have now been visited and informed that their lives are in danger from loyalist paramilitaries who had obtained their personal details. This information comes from the Castlereagh collusion file passed to unionist paramilitaries by the RIR and covered up by British Ministers, the PSNI and British Army over the past 16 months.

"I have requested urgent meetings with both the British and Irish governments to discuss this matter. It is unacceptable that this information has been the hands of Loyalists for 16 months yet only now are people being warned that their lives are threatened and are being provided with only minimal information.

"The silence from Peter Hain on this matter is deafening. If there is to any confidence that the British government is prepared to take the issue of collusion seriously then we need at the very least a statement from Peter Hain. I would also question why information on public representatives is being held in these files in the first place.

"The British government have been dishonest about this entire matter. When I questioned the previous security minister, Ian Pearson, about this matter he attempted to down play it and did not even inform myself or my party colleague Margaret McClenaghan, who accompanied me to the meeting, that our names where on these files. We need to know how many names are contained in these stolen files and how many people have now been informed that their lives are under threat.

"This situation is a scandal. The British government through the NIO are complicit in the cover up of this. It provides clear evidence of collusion. It is for that reason that a separate inquiry is required to get to the truth." ENDS

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