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Public Prosecution Service Report highlights serious flaws

9 August, 2007

Sinn Féin Policing and Justice Spokesperson, South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey has welcomed the publication of the joint Criminal Justice Inspection and Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Report into the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) that highlights serious flaws in the operation of the PPS.

Mr Maskey said:

"For far too long the issue of prosecutions has been fundamental part of the flawed justice system. Political decisions taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions, for example decisions not to prosecute in cases involving Crown Forces, undermined public confidence in the entire justice system.

"The clear demand for the PPS to give reasons to victims in both past and future cases where prosecutions are not taken or discontinued is particularly important where there are allegations of collusion or the involvement of Crown Forces is welcome.

"While this report highlights some progress it is equally clear that much more can and should be done. We need to build public confidence in the justice system and this means that there must be openness and transparency and crucially accountability in the Public Prosecution Service decisions making process.

"The PPS need act on recommendations on the publication of case outcomes and in providing full explanations about decisions not to prosecute or to withdraw cases.

"Essential to completing the development of a genuinely Independent Public Prosecution Service is the need to ensure that it is both free from political interference and free from political and cultural bias. There is no point attempting a break with the failed DPP agenda of the past unless there is a new culture of openness, transparency and accountability." ENDS

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