Belfast Telegraph

Victims feel 'betrayed' by on-the-run letters

BY NOEL MCADAM

Victims of the Troubles are feeling "betrayed" by the revelations over the Government's 'letters of comfort' to republican on-the-runs, the Victims Commissioner has warned.

In her first public comment on the controversy, Kathryn Stone said it had been a very difficult period, with already vulnerable people feeling very angry, upset and hurt.

And she told a Stormont committee there was a perception that the basic right to justice was being denied to victims.

The collapse of the Old Bailey trial of John Downey – which precipitated a resignation threat from the First Minister – came on the day the commission had organised the largest-ever gathering of victims to discuss dealing with the past.

"The conference was summarised as being optimistic, hopeful and respectful. However, people drove away listening to news about something else that led them to be concerned, anxious and worried," said the commissioner.

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