Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tagged under:

Gross Misconduct by David Ford Prompts Hunger Strike

Christy Walsh, a casualty of the British state's disdain for justice, two days ago embarked upon a hunger strike to force the pace of a process initiated by him aimed at wholly exonerating him from any guilt in respect of the charge for which he was imprisoned in the 1990s. TPQ features a letter he sent to Stormont ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness. Also featured is a background to his case.


Dear Messrs Robinson and McGuinness,

It has been over 1 month since I notified you both of my intention to go on Hunger-strike (Here).

Although both of you appointed David Ford as your choice of Justice Minister it has not escaped me that neither of you are prepared to defend his misconduct.  You should know that your silence does not remove your responsibility for him nor does it release you from any duty of care you might have toward me on account of his misconduct.

You have each been unable, or unwilling, to disprove, correct, or in any other way contradict the evidence against David Ford.  For the record you have both clear knowledge of the prima facie evidence against Mr Ford.

The question now is what your intention is and any legal obligations upon each of you in light of your knowledge of David Ford's misconduct in covering up prosecutorial misconduct.  To date neither of you have made any effort to communicate with me in attempt to find a solution.

Today marks the first day of my going on hunger-strike against my criminalisation by power sharing executive.



Yours sincerely
Christy Walsh

 

Background:

On 5th June 1991 a single member of the Parachute Regiment stopped me in the Suffolk Road area of west Belfast.  The Soldier pointed to a glass object sitting on a nearby wall and asked me if I knew what it was or where it came from.  I was arrested and taken to Castlereagh Interrogation Centre and questioned for 2 days without access to a lawyer.  On 7th June I answered all questions put to me and gave a full (signed) account for my movements that day as advised by my lawyer.  Also on 7th June Police had my coat pockets measured to see if the object would fit into one of them.  That same day the Soldier made a statement alleging that he had instructed me to remove a glass coffee-jar grenade from one of my coat pockets.

In October 1991 the Northern Ireland Forensic Science Laboratories confirmed that examination of the jar was complete and that there was no forensic evidence connecting me to the jar nor had fibers, and other evidence, present on the jar transferred onto me.

In February 1992 I was informed that a second Soldier was now also claiming to have witnessed me being instructed by his colleague to remove the jar from my coat pocket and place it on the nearby wall.

In December 1992 the Trial Judge, being critical of the Soldiers’ accounts, drew an adverse inference against me for remaining silent during my arrest and interrogation.  Judge Petrie said this was his “main criticism” of me and reason why he was sentencing me to 14 years in prison.  This was despite Soldiers and Police Testifying that I was co-operative at the scene of my arrest and had latter made and signed my statements in Castlereagh.

In January 2002 the Court of Appeal found that the Trial Judge was not lawfully entitled to have drew the adverse inference against me because 1) I did not remain silent when arrested, and 2) I had not attempted an ‘ambush defence’ at my Trial by seeking to rely upon anything that I had not told police during interrogations.  However that Court ruled that “an exception” would be made with me and my “conviction was to be regarded as safe, even if, it had breached Article 6” of the European Convention (the right to a fair trial).

In March 2010 another Court of Appeal concluded that my conviction was in fact unsafe.  I took one of the Prosecutor’s files with me before leaving the courtroom.  The file contained evidence which the Prosecutor had said did not exist and thus was not included in the exhibit file at my Trial in 1992. 

Since March 2010 the Justice Minister, David Ford, has falsely alleged that he has evidence confirming my guilt.  The Minister has reviewed his position on at least 7 occasions: 5th July 2011, 10th May 2012, 12th October 2012, 9th May 2013, 22nd December 2013, 3rd April 2014 and 30th June 2014.  In all reviews the Minister has represented the PPS and PSNI in common cause against me; and has been actively covering up prosecutorial misconduct.

18 comments :

diplockcourts said...

Anthony

Thank you for publishing this for me.

Christy

Ché said...

Hi cristy

I think they would be happy for you to starve to death! Don't give them the satisfaction, the mainstream media will refuse to cover the story!

I would instead suggest that u join the justice for the craigavon 2 campaign! Hit them were it hurts exposing the state for what it is by exposing this miscarriage of justice which may be similar to your own!

eddie said...

Christy it is clear that you took on the so called best of the legal system, (both judiciary, prosection and also so called defence lawyers) and beat them hands down fair and square - that is extremely hard thing to do even when the truth is on your side. And I imagine it was very exhausting to do to say the least. From what you wrote it appears that the system has decided that the overall system not just the appeal system has to be protected at all costs; and with the system protecting the foot soldiers (ie the PPS) the systems policy now appears to have a ring of self perservation about it. I would say you thus have a big fight on your hands but you have fought and won bigger fights. Take stock,recharge yourself and Im sure you will win again.

AM said...

Christy,

you are welcome. And it is being read. It will help if our own readers redistribute it in turn. It is terrible that it has come to this. More than three decades after the boys died people are still going on hunger strike to get justice in that sordid little British Bantustan.

Henry JoY said...

Christy

I have read your piece above and your correspondence of Feb. 12th to the First and Deputy First Ministers. The sense of hurt and frustration that you're experiencing because of the unjust way you've been treated is palpable, understandable and justifiable.

I sincerely hope that your protest will attract the attention it deserves from investigative journalists and human rights and justice lobbyists. I hope that as a result of your courageous protest we will be able to see an increased public awareness and increased support for your quest swiftly; and that you will be able to view this as an incremental next step on the journey towards complete exoneration.

I will be contacting the elected representatives in my area to make them aware of my concerns and your campaign for justice.

diplockcourts said...

Eddie

Thank you for your support. I don't know who you are but I have always remembered you posted a single sentence of support for me a long time ago and it has stuck with me above the support expressed by many others. You said how I am 'getting justice for all of us'. I have always been aware that there are many others who were processed by the Diplock Courts and are unable to prove what they say is true and so even when I wanted to give up I know there is not another case around with the overwhelming weight of evidence that I have and so I kept going. If the weight of evidence in my case fails then many other injustice cases will flounder. David Ford thought the same thing as you did in 2011: "If Walsh's application succeeds it may gain a higher profile and raise questions over other convictions." I do not know what other cases he is referring to but we can take it from him that they are there.


Ché

I believe in solidarity and having read the judgments in that case would support the C2C. The unfortunate thing is they are only in their infancy in the arena of injustice (not that things can't happen fast but they tend not to). I was first imprisoned shortly after the B6 and G4 had finally won their cases and cleared their names. And I took their cases as an example and thought to myself that it takes an average of 16years to clear your name. In doing so it helped me to pace myself and maintain my fortitude -albeit I am now at 24 years and still fighting.

diplockcourts said...

PS: Eddie & Che

I forgot my real name would not be published, as you guessed, but just to confirm I am Christy Walsh. Cheers!

HJoy

I appreciate your support and taking the extra step of raising my case with politicians in your area.

Christy

Feel te love said...

Christy is there no higher court, or judicial process you can use. I remember you and your case and had thought you had finally got justice. I should know better I guess, having been processed like a pea, same as everybody.

Norn Iron dont do justice. You might want to contact Ciaran Beatie of SF, ask him how he was compensated rather than charged.

DaithiD said...

Christy, I was shocked to read your story of injustice originally on this site. I wish your hunger strike hadnt begun already.
I fear it its success depends on the presence of a nobility or empathy not possessed by those in whom you seek it.

Niall said...

SF's whispered approval to the crown PPS's persecution of republicans highlights the ineffectiveness of Ford's ministry.
Have you tried contacting that great defender of justice Seamus Mallon to gain his support? He could be persuaded to have his party introduce a bill called Christy's Law where a person is innocent until proven guilty! Of course, Seamus being selective in his choice of victims of injustice may require some form of recompense to do so!!
I wish you well in your pursuit of justice but I can't see a positive outcome since the result will likely condemn those who condemned you....but like the spider you can only try and try again.

diplockcourts said...

DaithiD & Niall

Thank you for your support and I understand your value judgments.

I am in surprisingly good spirits and not having eaten anything in 4 days has thus far not been as hard as I anticipated.

You might recall David Ford's public hissy fit about Kevin Winters and some email -the Law Society eventually tossed his complaint out. Well I have written and stand over a lot worse about Ford than he alleged was in any email. He is not running to the courts looking cease and desist orders or any other form of sanction to silence me -- he has no case for defamation against me for telling factual truths.

The longer I can hold out the greater the stench that will remain around McGuinness, Robinson and the Alliance party for covering for the little shit. And if I end up dead none of them will ever wash it off.

Christy

AM said...

Christy,

all here seem quite determined that you will not end up dead. Nor do we want you to damage your health over it even though there is the understanding of no gain without pain to borrow a phrase.

Our own readers should highlight the where they can and write to the papers, put up posters, do whatever we can to highlight this.

DaithiD said...

Christy, Bless you in what you are embarking on, if success depended on your efforts alone then you would win. But you are depending on proven bastards full of pride to yield. Still,I will find some appropriate way to support you, writing to my MP etc.

diplockcourts said...

AM

Yes I know and I welcome the support -and I had already previously considered much of what has been said thus far before I made my decision to go on hunger strike -I cannot rule out the possibility that some in positions of power may take the opportunity to try and prove themselves to be more Finchley than Thatcher.

Henry JoY said...

Christy

I've been in contact with the office of Éamon Ó Cuív whom I know through previous prisoner/humanitarian issues.Unfortunately I was on the telephone when he attempted to returned a call and he only got to message minder.

Below is a copy of my subsequent email, a similar one has gone to Mick Wallace and Clare Daly. I've also been in contact with the office of Colm Keaveney T.D. for Galway East and with Frank Feighan T.D. for Roscommon/Leitrim South (Frank sits on some of the Irish/British intergovernmental bodies and is an old friend and political sparring partner). An email has gone out to them too.

"Éamon a chara

Thanks for attempting to come back to me so promptly, sorry I missed your call earlier.

I need your help in raising awareness around a case of a miscarriage of justice. Its of the utmost urgency as the aggrieved individual, Christy Walsh, is now on the fifth day of a hunger-strike.
Because of the necessarily collaborative construction of The Stormont Assembly there's no real opposition as such. Hence Northern Nationalists sometimes need to rely on, and call upon politicians in The Republic of Ireland to make interventions and representations on their behalf. This is indeed one such case, as Justice Minister David Ford (Alliance Party), holds tenure with both SDLP and Sinn Féin support and approval.

For your information and consideration I include copy of correspondence to the First and Deputy First Minister by Christy giving notice of his intention to commence a hunger-strike and containing an overview of his grievances. Christy can be contacted via email at
walsh_christy@yahoo.co.uk

Any bit of awareness raising that you can do or any bit of support in moving this forward towards a resolution would be much appreciated as has been your previous efforts on behalf of prisoners and other humanitarian causes you've taken up on behalf of Northern Nationalists.

Is mise le meas,
******* ********"

Christy Walsh said...

Henry Joy

Thank you, that is an excellent letter you have written on my behalf. Éamon Ó Cuív has made representations on my behalf in the past so hopefully your letter will spur him on once again.

Cheers!
Christy

Joe Denver said...

The pisspoor media in the UK is currently ignoring hunger strikes in detention centres up and down the land.

Here is an exception: https://commonspace.scot/articles/745/msp-echoes-stuc-and-church-call-for-access-to-dungavel-to-visit-detainees

If this is anything to go by you're going to have a hard time getting your situation highlighted by the commentariat. But I echo the sentiments of AM and others - all power to you and I hope a bit of support in raising awareness may help to remove some gags.

Christy Walsh said...

Joe D

Thank you for drawing my attention to the plight of immigrants in detention. The same story is being repeated around Ireland by immigrants on direct provision. Although not actually detained through the day immigrants on direct provision are required to live in overcrowded conditions for 3 -7 years in large hostel type accommodation, waiting until they are provided a house or apartments in which they can live. Public accommodation is in short supply and many citizens are them selves on decade long waiting lists for public housing. However housing is not the only problem for immigrants on direct provision they have other problems around food, privacy and an inadequate allowance of 19 euro per week and 9.60 per child. It can't at all be easy or pleasant.