Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

PPS hits back at Adams’s claims of corruption over handling of Holland case

Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Alasdair Fraser has hit back at accusations made by West Belfast MP Gerry Adams that the Public Prosecution Service is a “corrupt institution”.

Mr Adams made the remarks during a radio programme discussing the prosecution case of three teenagers involved in the murder of west Belfast greengrocer Harry Holland.

However, Sir Alasdair said that Mr Adams’ remark was “unworthy and wrong”.

He added: “As director, I am privileged to lead an organisation which is committed to serving this community in a fair, independent and impartial manner. The Public Prosecution Service will continue to do so. While Mr Adams made reference to the findings of the reports of the Criminal Justice Inspector, he neglected to say that the Chief Inspector confirmed the quality of the decisions which the PPS takes.”

Mr Adams and Mr Holland’s family have publicly criticised the PPS’s handling of the case.

The Sinn Fein president said the family and the community are justifiably angry “at the sordid secret deal that was done between the PPS and those who carried out the murder, which led to reduced charges and minimum sentences against two of the accused”.

He was speaking after Attorney General Baroness Scotland said she was not going to review the sentences of those involved in Mr Holland’s murder.

Last month 18-year-old Stephen McKee, of Ballymurphy Road, Belfast, was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years for the murder of Mr Holland.

Patrick Crossen, from Willowbank Gardens, was given four years for attempted affray and possessing an offensive weapon and a girl of 17 was placed on probation for two years after admitting affray and common assault.

Tommy Holland, Mr Holland’s cousin, said the family is now seeking further legal advice on how best to challenge the sentences and the PPS case.

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