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Unionist Parties Pressed Over UUP Raid Response

15 April, 2005

East Belfast Sinn Féin Representative Deborah Devenny this afternoon contrasted the approach of unionist politicians to the raid on the UUP offices in Castlereagh with their approach to the raid on the Sinn Féin Offices in Stormont.

Ms Devenny said:

"When the Sinn Féin Offices in Stormont were raided the PSNI had briefed the media in advance to ensure maximum publicity and senior Special Branch figures including the DUPs Bill Lowry briefed selected members of the media on the operation.

"Today the offices of the UUP were raided in Castlereagh Council and the home of a senior elected representative was also raided as part of an investigation into money laundering. Correctly no media were informed until a fter the raid was completed. As republicans well know the fact that the PSNI raid a home or office does not imply any guilt. However what is stark is the approach to this news by the unionist political parties.

"In the wake of the Stormont raids despite the fact that nobody has been convicted of any offence and many of the original charges have since been dropped, the UUP collapsed the political institutions and the DUP made false allegation after false allegation accusing republicans of criminality and spying.

"It will seem to many within the broad nationalist community that an entirely different approach has been adopted today by the political leaders of unionism in the wake of these raids." ENDS

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