Belfast Telegraph

No action yet by Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams after BBC's claim about killing

By Allan Preston

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has not yet taken legal action against the BBC after a Spotlight documentary claimed he sanctioned the murder of Denis Donaldson.

Mr Adams categorically denied the claim when the programme was aired in September and his Belfast lawyers sent a letter to the BBC saying they would "respond in due course".

A legal writ is required to initiate court proceedings, but 10 weeks on, no further action has been taken.

Yesterday a BBC NI spokesperson said: "We've received correspondence from Mr Adams' lawyers, but are not aware of a writ."

A Sinn Féin spokesperson said: "The case is in the hands of Mr. Adams lawyers."

Mr Donaldson (55) had been working as a Sinn Fein official when he was outed as a British spy.

He fled to an isolated cottage near Glenties in Co Donegal in April 2006, where he was later shot dead.

The BBC has continued to stand by the claims made in the Spotlight programme, despite the backlash.

In September Mr Adams said he would have no problem reiterating his denial to police and said in a statement: "I have been consulting with my lawyers and we will now be taking action against the BBC in relation to the totally false allegation contained within the BBC Spotlight broadcast."

Meanwhile, Mr Adams will this week meet three senior Sinn Fein politicians he linked to the 1983 IRA murder of prison officer Brian Stack.

Mr Adams has said the names he supplied in an email to the Garda Commissioner had been provided by the victim's son, Austin Stack - who denies doing so.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Mr Adams said: "Why would I suggest for one second that Austin Stack gave me the names if he didn't give me the names.

"How could Austin Stack expect me to try and get people to meet with him if he didn't tell me who he wanted to meet, come on."

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