Belfast Telegraph

DUP man: Justice Minister David Ford should go

By Connla Young

Justice Minister David Ford has faced a call to resign after it emerged a suspected rapist released from jail in error last year is the chief suspect in a murder hunt.

Police have warned the public not to approach Devidas Paliutas (27) who is being hunted over the murder of 29-year-old Ukrainian Dmytro Grytsunov in Kilkeel last Saturday night.

In October last year Paliutas was released “in error” by the Northern Ireland Prison Service while on remand on charges of rape, false imprisonment and burglary.

In the days after Paliutas was allowed to walk free, Mr Ford said: “There is no evidence to believe he is of a particular danger to the public.”

Those words have now come back to haunt the minister and last night outgoing DUP Assemblyman Maurice Morrow said the Alliance Party leader’s Assembly role was “becoming untenable”.

“David Ford has to do the honourable thing in light of this new evidence and say ‘I have to consider my position’. I think his position is becoming untenable. This is just not acceptable. This has a devastating impact on the law-abiding community. “

Mr Ford last night remained defiant. He said: “I intend to remain in post continuing the work of reforming the justice system for the remainder of this mandate and it is up to the Assembly when it first meets who it chooses to elect as the Justice Minister.”

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