Sunday, February 8, 2015

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Be Vewy Quiet

Chris Bray looks on in bewilderment at the PSNI pursuit of Winston Rea.

Be Vewy Quiet ... We're Hunting Wabbits!

On Friday, a barrister representing the Police Service of Northern Ireland shat all over ... the Police Service of Northern Ireland. In open court. But no one seems to have noticed.

Police officials have publicly denied that their request for a new subpoena of archived Belfast Project interviews constitutes a "fishing expedition." But Winston Rea, whose interviews are the target of that subpoena, has asked the courts in the U.K. to prohibit the PSNI from taking possession of the subpoenaed material -- so police officials and prosecutors have been forced to appear in a Belfast courtroom to explain the nature and purpose of the subpoena they have asked American authorities to serve on Boston College. Here's how the BBC reports the comments from the PSNI's barrister:
"There are obvious reasonable grounds for suspecting offences have been committed," he said.

"Whether or not the applicant is the individual who has committed those, it's quite clear the police have active lines of inquiry in respect of murder, attempted murder and robbery."

He said the PSNI is seeking to advance inquiries into serious crime spanning three decades up to the late 1990s.

"Regardless of who committed these offences there are victims, there are those bereaved, and some of them have written to the court expressing an interest in the issue," he added.
So the PSNI is pursuing Winston Rea's interviews not because of a generalized fishing expedition, ladies and gentlemen, but rather because of a laser-focused inquiry into some precisely and narrowly defined crimes that took place over the course of thirty years -- the longest murder ever? a slow-motion bank robbery? an attack on a glacier? -- and that Winston Rea didn't actually commit.

Whether or not the applicant is the individual who has committed those. Regardless of who committed these offences.

The police have now said in a public setting that they sought a subpoena of Winston Rea's interviews in order to investigate murders and robberies not committed by Winston Rea. This is serious?


marty said...

Fuck me Chris this bodes an ill wind for Gerry Itwasntme the quisling $inn £eind president for life . look at how many crimes the psni now must be looking at that he and Martybroy did not commit....

Anonymous said...

A pint for anyone who can pick out the shinners from this stormont ministerial pic.

frankie said...

Boston College Project: Winston Rea loses legal challenge

menace said...

Surprisingly I have a certain sympathy for Winston Rae.
I suspect the real reason the RUC have gone after the tapes he made are more to do with a need to show they are not simply the shower of black bastards they always were, intent on making life difficult, if not ending life of, nationalists. By going after a prominent loyalist they can say, 'here we are, being fair and going after both sides, he' s not quite the caliber of Gerry or Delorous Price.
A matter reported on tonight's BBC six county news was they are going after him for 'directing terrorism' which, in relation to the alleged offences, was probably not an offence during the period they seek information in relation to, so, in line with the 1998 Human Rights Act, cannot be used to secure a conviction for such offences.
Fishing, no, misleading, probably.

AM said...


unsurprisingly I support his efforts to the hilt.

Anonymous said...

wasn't Rea the head of the Red Hand Commandos?

Simon said...

Menace "A matter reported on tonight's BBC six county news was they are going after him for 'directing terrorism' which, in relation to the alleged offences, was probably not an offence during the period they seek information in relation to, so, in line with the 1998 Human Rights Act, cannot be used to secure a conviction for such offences."

I don't see what the Human Rights Act has to do with the potential for securing a conviction for 'directing terrorism'. That would be down to whether or not the legislation in question is retroactive.

The big question is whether the interviews are backed up by sworn affidavits or not. The weight given to them or on the other hand the chance of successfully denying the truth of their content is what's important.

There are enough possible charges to cover any eventuality. Even if that is just aiding and abetting. The chances are if the material is admissible and taken as gospel then more serious charges can be brought.

Simon said...

If there is supporting evidence a conviction will be more likely.

Any investigation, charges or convictions will go against the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement. It goes against the intention of that International agreement.

It wasn't expressly written but it was stated and accepted that convictions would be phased out in the long term.

Where's the Ministry of Truth when you need it?

Chris Bray said...

From the BelTel:

"He was also alleged to have acted as a personal security guard to Spence and met with former British Prime Minister John Major in 1996 - a claim disputed by Rea."

Now that's a "fuck you." One of the "allegations" against Rea is that he...met with government officials to negotiate peace.

For this, he must be punished.

The State: Will you meet with us to open talks that will end all this killing?

The Suspect: Sure.

The State: Aha! Gotcha! Up against the wall!

Really, really past time to inquire seriously into the intent underlying these "investigations."

menace said...

Simon, it was the human rights legislation which outlawed states party from implementing legislation which effect was to make an offense retrospective, I may be wrong but I think Hume v. LondonDerry justices was a key case here. With this in place, were he charged with this particular of fence, the RUC would have a very narrow window in which to effect such charge as the legislation was developed in the latter end of the war.
Anthony, I'm not surprised you do, but, given the reported comments of the Judge, I would suggest six county judiciary have failed to keep up with public opinion and present day legislation having not really advanced since the comments of justice Gibson in R v. Robinson, Brannigan and Ors.

Simon said...

Menace, is that the Hume v Londonderry Justices case from 1972? How did the Human Rights Act 1998 impact on this case? What part of the Human Rights Act prohibits retroactive legislation?

Seeing as though the directing terrorism legislation came before the Human Rights Act if the former was retroactive then surely then the Human Rights Act would have to break it's own rules and retroactively change that piece of retroactive legislation. I feel like I am about to launch into Groucho Marx's "the party of the first part will be known in this contract as the party of the first part" lol.

Feel te love said...

It does appear to me that the brits are pursuing these people because of the pressure being applied for the (questioning)and possibible charging of former security forces.
The brits seem to be looking to get their own people of the hook by way of having former combatants kicking up enough of a storm to have previous parts of the GFA renegotiated. My thoughs are that they will use those former combatants as proxxies to push the brits agenda. After all they, the brits, dont want to be seen to be the ones thwarting justice for all those victims out their. Within the next year or two we will see the result the brits want.

frankie said...

Sleepwalking to the past

Brian Rowan, Monday, 09 February 2015

Unionists want answers from Tony Blair, from the NIO, from the police and from Sinn Fein, but are nowhere near as questioning when it comes to themselves.

larry hughes said...

Winkies in bad health, can't see this helping matters.

frankie said...

Boston College Project: Winston Rea wins PSNI restraining order

10 February 2015 Last updated at 21:03 GMT

An ex-loyalist prisoner has secured a last-minute court order to stop Northern Ireland police getting hold of interviews he gave to a US university.

frankie said...

By Brian Rowan – 10 February 2015

'An example of those who fought the war and started to build the peace'

larry hughes said...

Too much money in 'security'. Some people just miss the luxury and power too much. RUC old hands would love the conflict back.

frankie said...

Sealed tapes of interviews given by a former loyalist prisoner to a university project will not now be held on American territory in Belfast.