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Kelly calls for Ombudsman to investigate Forensic Lab relationship with PSNI

14 October, 2003

Sinn Féin representative Gerry Kelly has called on the Ombudsman to immediately open an investigation into the relationship between the PSNI and the supposedly independent Forensic Science Agency. Mr. Kelly's remarks came after the acquittal today in Belfast of William James Nelson on robbery charges after claims that his DNA was found at the scene of a crime were proven false.

Mr. Kelly said:

" In court today it was exposed by an independent scientist that claims that a robbery suspects DNA were found on cigarette butts were false. The case was thrown out of court.

" It has emerged that the cigarette butts in question were never in fact tested for DNA by the Forensic Science Laboratory. They were instead removed from the crime scene by the PSNI. The PSNI then claimed that they had been tested for DNA.

" This is the second serious incident regarding court evidence being presented by the Forensic Science Laboratory in recent weeks. Recently it emerged in court that the PSNI had been placing pressure upon Forensic Scientists to come up with false evidence.

" The Ombudsman must now examine the entire relationship between the Forensic Science Agency and senior detectives operating within the PSNI."


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