Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Boston tapes unreliable evidence, Jean accused Ivor Bell's lawyer tells court

Ivor Bell

A US university project used to charge a former IRA commander with aiding and abetting the murder of Disappeared victim Jean McConville is unreliable and inaccurate, a court heard.

Ivor Bell's lawyer also claimed some of the Boston College material was disclosed to police in violation of an international treaty.

Peter Corrigan said the PPS should now decide the evidence does not meet the standard for criminal prosecution.

Mrs McConville was seized by the IRA from her west Belfast home in 1972, shot dead and then secretly buried.

Bell (77), from Ramoan Gardens in Belfast, was arrested in March and charged with IRA membership and aiding and abetting the murder.

The case against him is based on an alleged interview he gave to researchers at Boston College.

Although transcripts were not to be published until after the deaths of those who took part, last year a US court ordered the tapes should be handed over to the PSNI.

The veteran republican – who is currently on bail – denies any role. Belfast Magistrates Court heard yesterday that his file will be allocated to a prosecutor within four weeks.

But Mr Corrigan said: "It's very clear it was an intellectual, academic project, but was riddled with inaccuracies, unreliable and subjective.

"The PPS should take a view that this evidence is unreliable, has not been evaluated properly and should not be the basis of a criminal prosecution."

Judge Bagnall pointed out that a decision has yet to be taken on the prosecution.

Mr Corrigan confirmed his client plans to rely on an alibi.

He added: "The defendant has put forward an account of where he was at the time and he requested during interviews that the police obtain all military and police logs and records to verify the assertion that he wasn't in Belfast."

 

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