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Orde Interview Criticised

31 July, 2003

Responding to an interview by the PSNI Chief Hugh Orde in today's Irish News Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing Gerry Kelly accused Mr Orde 'of making a blatant political intervention and electioneering'.

Mr Kelly said:

"When Hugh Orde took on the job of PSNI Chief Constable he declared that he was a policeman not a politician and that policing would be his only concern. He promised to be the man who would change the old system. From today's interview it is clear that rather than change the RUC the RUC has changed Hugh Orde.

"He concentrates the majority of his commentary and attention on alleged republican actions while ignores and seeks to minimise the extent of the ongoing loyalist campaign against Catholics. He doesn't comment on the admission by one of his senior colleagues Roy Suitters who admits the PSNI know the identities of those who killed Gerard Lawlor but have decided not to pursue them.

"He also seeks to continue the cover-up around collusion. He tries to explain the policy of state sponsored murder away with tired old line about a few bad apples and he contends that no members of the PSNI should face trial for their role in hundreds of murders. None of this washes with the nationalist community.

"The PSNI under Hugh Orde continues to be a highly political force at the centre of efforts to frustrate the advance of the peace process. Briefings to selected journalists at crucial and sensitive times in the process continue to emanate from the PSNI. Now we have its Chief Constable engaging in a political attack on Sinn Féin. Hugh Orde and the PSNI still have a considerable journey to make to reach the threshold of the acceptable and non-partisan policing service demanded by the Agreement." ENDS

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