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PPS under pressure to publish Gerry Adams report

Attorney General launched review of decision not to charge Sinn Fein president for withholding information about paedophile brother Liam

By Deborah McAleese

The Public Prosecution Service is facing political pressure to publish the findings of a probe into a decision not to charge Gerry Adams for withholding information about his paedophile brother Liam.

A review of the handling of the case by the PPS was launched by the Attorney General after it emerged that the Sinn Fein president did not tell police for nine years that Liam Adams had confessed to sexually abusing his daughter Aine.

The Belfast Telegraph understands the Attorney General's findings and a number of recommendations were forwarded to Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory at least five months ago. However, the PPS has so far failed to publish the report's findings, despite requests from Stormont's justice committee.

Northern Ireland's Police Ombudsman has also been criticised for a delay in the publication of the findings of an investigation into allegations that detectives did not properly examine whether Gerry Adams covered up his brother's crimes.

The Ombudsman launched a probe 12 months ago following a complaint by justice committee chairman Paul Givan.

It is understood the probe was completed in April but the findings have yet to be made public.

Mr Givan said that the failure of the PPS and Police Ombudsman to publish the findings of the investigations was damaging to public confidence. The Police Ombudsman said the delay was due to it being a "complicated case" and that a number of queries arose during a review of the investigation. "Those are now being addressed, and once that has been done we will be in a position to close the case," a spokesman added.

The PPS said that in light of an on-going appeal against conviction by Liam Adams "it would be inappropriate for us to comment upon the report".

However, Mr Givan said he intends to call Mr McGrory, Attorney General John Larkin and Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire before the justice committee to produce the reports.

"The fact it has taken over a year and there is still no sign of the reports being produced is adding to the questions of confidence, not just to the police and the PPS, but to the reviews carried out," said the DUP MLA. "There is a clear demand that these reports be published. How can any credibility be given to a review of the Mairia Cahill case when the findings of these investigations are being withheld?"

Gerry Adams gave evidence for the prosecution during his brother's trial in April last year. That trial collapsed, but Liam Adams was found guilty during a second trial of raping and sexually assaulting his daughter, Aine Dahlstrom, when she was aged between four and nine in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Gerry Adams was not called to give evidence during the second trial. Liam Adams, who has launched an appeal against his conviction, was handed a 16-year sentence, half of which he is expected to spend behind bars.

Both the first and second completed trial raised serious questions for Gerry Adams. It emerged that as far back as 1987 the Sinn Fein leader was aware of the abuse allegations against his brother. Giving evidence during the first trial, Mr Adams told the court that in 2000 Liam Adams admitted to him he had sexually assaulted his daughter on one occasion. It was not until 2009 that Gerry Adams told police about his brother's partial confession.

A separate investigation by the Police Ombudsman into allegations that Gerry Adams was briefed by police about details of the case against his brother before he gave evidence against him at trial is still being carried out.

The Belfast Telegraph revealed in May that details of the investigation into Liam Adams were discussed by a police officer with the Sinn Fein leader before he gave evidence against him at the Crown Court trial.

It has also been claimed that details of the case were discussed by an officer during a public meeting.

Belfast Telegraph

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