Sunday, April 12, 2015

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Christy Walsh Hunger Strike: Day 28

Christy Walsh on Day 28 of his hunger strike with a copy of an email he sent this morning to Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and his deputy, Martin McGuinness.

Dear Messrs Robinson and McGuinness

Today marks my 28th day on Hunger-strike and still neither of you have responded to reasonable requests.

On 18th July 2010 I wrote a letter to the NI Secretary of State, Hugo Swire, and also copied it to David Ford. That letter contained evidence of serious prosecutorial misconduct. I also copied the same letter to the Chief Constable of the PSNI, Matt Baggot.*

The Secretary of State informed me on the 23rd July that:

Since the devolution of policing and justice powers on 12th April 2010, responsibility for the issues raised in your letter has been passed to the new Department of Justice. 



On 28th July I received the following response from David Ford's Office:

Thank you for your letter dated 18 July to David Ford MLA, Minister of Justice, in relation to a Criminal Law Branch letter. Your letter is currently receiving attention and a response will be issued in due course.  (Letters Here))

On 5 July 2011* David Ford finally responded that: "I have no governance responsibilities towards the PPS." (Here)

In 2012 David Ford exercised his statutory powers** (which he denied having) to instruct the CJI to investigate the PPS. Their report can be seen here (note the word 'governance'): A corporate governance inspection of the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland - 26 April 2013


Clearly, the law provides David Ford with the power to refer prosecutorial misconduct to the CJI as I have always said he has.

The existence of the Report above is clear evidence that David Ford knows his statutory power, and, he has exercised that power. The existence of the CJI Report also confirms that he lied to me in his letter dated 5th July 2011. He is in breach of the Ministerial Code to which he must abide and he is demonstrably guilty of misconduct in public office.

It is quite notable that the First Minister, and his Deputy's, only response is to themselves be party to the same misconduct in public office contrary to their Ministerial Code.

The Power Sharing Executive lacks integrity, responsibility, accountability and a moral backbone.

Neither Peter Robinson nor Martin McGuinness can plead ignorance of David Ford's professional misconduct. I would urge you both to do the right thing.

Yours sincerely
Christy Walsh


* Matt Baggot informed me that he has no power to investigate a prosecutor unless directed to do so by a higher authority than himself. That is true.

** I understand (though it has not been confirmed) that around this same time the Prosecutor, Mr Gary McCrudden, was removed from handling anymore cases before the Courts.

***The Criminal Justice Inspectorate's remit covers investigations of the PPS but: "By law, CJI is not allowed to investigate individual cases but it can, when asked by the Minister for Justice, undertake specific pieces of work including investigations and reviews." (Here)

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