Dillon calls for urgent answers on rescinding of convictions
Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has called for immediate answers following an announcement that 15 people who were convicted of serious sexual offences are to have their convictions rescinded due to a technical error.
The Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson said:
“This afternoon, 17 victims of sexual offences have been informed that the convictions of those convicted of the incidents are being rescinded due to a technical error.
“This news has come as a shock to the victims of these crimes, and will cause undue stress and anguish for them and their families.
“The news also risks potentially retraumatising victims and undermining public confidence in the criminal justice system.
“Fundamentally, at the heart of this debacle are 17 victims who have suffered some of the most heinous and distressing crimes, and to them I offer my absolute support.
“As a matter of urgency, there is now a responsibility on the Public Prosecution Service and Department of Justice to put in place the necessary support mechanisms for these victims.
“Serious questions must be answered as to how such oversight went unnoticed, what the PPS and DOJ knew about this, whether this technical error now been resolved and if fresh prosecutions will be taken against the 15 individuals.
"Sinn Féin will continue to support the victims throughout this process and ensure maximum support for victims and that answers are secured."