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KELLY CALLS FOR CLARITY ON PPS CHANGES

12 September, 2003


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing and Justice, Gerry Kelly, has called for a greater degree of clarity and accountability on the proposed changes to the Public Prosecution Services.

Speaking on the day of the launch of the proposed changes to the PPS Mr Kelly said:

"A new and independent Public Prosecution Service has been what republicans and nationalists have been negotiating for. However, such a service must reflect the commitments made in the Good Friday Agreement.

"Features such as decentralisation, the assuming of responsibility for cases previously dealt with by the PSNI and movement towards a community restorative justice alternative to punitive justice are to be welcomed and are a way of progressing positively and stepping outside old parameters.

"However, the report has rejected the recommendation from the Criminal Justice Review that there should be public explanations as to why the PPS do not prosecute in disputed cases. Sir Alasdair Fraser, who has headed the extremely flawed and harmful prosecution service up till now will not command the confidence of the nationalist community in implementing such changes.

"It is essential that planned recruitment of some 350 new staff be equality proofed. This is critical to ensuring that a new ethos is created for a new prosecution service.

"If there is to be confidence in any future PPS as a result of these changes such issues need to be dealt with in order to provide accountability in keeping with international best practice." ENDS

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