Researchers face wait in US court battle over IRA tapes
It may be weeks before two of the top researchers of Boston College's oral history project on the Troubles learn whether they have the legal standing to fight British efforts to obtain interviews with former IRA and UVF members.
Yesterday the US Court of Appeal heard arguments from lawyers acting for journalist Ed Moloney and former IRA member Anthony McIntyre that they be allowed to fight their own case.
The court also heard from US prosecutors who claim the pair's former employer, Boston College, is the only party legally entitled to fight the British request.
Moloney and McIntyre, who had a bitter falling out with the college after accusing its Belfast Project administrators of surrender when British authorities — who are believed to be acting |on behalf of the PSNI — began seeking the interviews last |spring.
In January, US District Court judge William Young dismissed a Moloney-McIntyre challenge to his earlier December ruling ordering Boston College surrender to US prosecutors interviews that former IRA member Dolours Price gave to Boston College interviewers in which she allegedly implicates Gerry Adams in the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.
Judge Young ruled that the men lacked the legal standing to bypass a US-UK treaty that obliges each country to pursue criminal cases on the other's behalf.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Moloney said that should he and Mr McIntyre ultimately lose their current case before the three-judge appeals court, they may appeal to America's highest court. “If we lose by two to one, we will appeal it to the (US) Supreme Court,” he said.