Murdered Co Armagh man Paul Quinn was not a criminal, Sinn Fein’s deputy first minister in the Stormont Assembly, Michelle O’Neill, said.
Mr Quinn, 21, from County Armagh, was beaten to death in a barn in County Monaghan.
Mrs O’Neill said: “Paul Quinn was not a criminal. Paul Quinn was murdered by criminals.”
On Wednesday, Sinn Fein minister Conor Murphy said he regretted comments he made following Mr Quinn’s murder, when he claimed he was involved in smuggling and criminality.
DUP First Minister Arlene Foster said it was the right thing to do.
“Whenever possible, if mistakes are made we should reflect and make apologies for those mistakes, and make sure that those are sincere apologies.”
They appeared before their scrutiny committee at Stormont.