Belfast Telegraph

Grieve tackled over 'dirty deals'

A Northern Irish MP has questioned if Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have received letters assuring them they do not face prosecution or police questioning.

Democratic Unionist William McCrea (South Antrim) named the Sinn Fein politicians as he challenged Attorney General Dominic Grieve to explain who else had been sent letters similar to that received by John Downey.

It emerged yesterday the case against Hyde Park bombing suspect Downey had collapsed after he was given a letter giving him a false assurance he was not wanted by British police over the IRA attack.

Convicted IRA member Downey, 62, of County Donegal, had received a "letter of assurance" in 2007 when in fact there was an outstanding warrant against him.

He "strenuously" denied the murder of four British soldiers and causing an explosion.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr McCrea told Mr Grieve: "John Downey is believed to have participated in the cold-blooded murder of the innocent. Does a letter signed by an official of Government abort the right of justice?

"Who else has received these letters? For example, have Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness received similar letters?

"Have soldiers, police officers received similar letters to give them immunity from prosecution or are these special letters simply for terrorists, gangsters, thugs and murderers?

"What other dirty deals have been done behind the backs of the people of Northern Ireland and their elected representatives?"

Mr Grieve replied: "I think that the best course of action, if I may recommend it to you, rather than asking me questions to which, in truth, within my responsibility I can't answer... you should firstly may wish to see what the police ombudsman has to say in the internal inquiry report and then, of course, this House is a chamber in which these matters can be debated."

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