Irish Republican News · October 14, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Massareene files vanish
Massareene files vanish
duffyshiversposters.jpg

The PSNI investigation into the Real IRA attack on Massareene British army base has ‘lost’ documentation surrounding a vehicle which was the only evidence alleged to have connected two men to the killings of two British soldiers.

Prominent Lurgan republican Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers, fromMagherafelt, are in court on the basis of PSNI claims that their DNA profiles were found in and can be linked to the car, which was allegedly used in the attack.

The Coleraine Magistrates Court preliminary investigation heard yesterday that the record of who had contact with the car, and where and when such contact was made, has “gone missing”.

It also transpired yesterday that DNA profiles from six other males, in addition to those of Duffy and Shivers, were also recovered from the car.

Among those whose DNA profile was identified was that of a civilian PSNI driver whose DNA wasrecovered from swabs taken from the hatchback’s hand brake.

The PSNI employee involved told the court that he was “not required to keep information with reference to how many times I had been in contact with the vehicle”.

Asked by the defence solicitor was it not acase of no standard practice being inplace for dealing with the documentation and that the whole thing was “a hit and miss”, the witness replied that he was “not privy to the policies made by the police service” in relation to the relevant records.

Earlier this week, forensic scientist Emma Watson agreed with defence lawyers that the level of DNA testing presented to the court was significantly lower thanthe threshold relied upon by the Court of Appeal.

The judge said that he would review the evidence of the three-day preliminary enquiry before making a ruling next week on whether a trial with go ahead.

ABUSE

Meanwhile, there have been increasing concerns at the treatment being meted out to Colin Duffy.

From the beginning of the week, the Lurgan man, a former eirigi spokesperson, has been forcibly strip searched and beaten by prison officers while on his way to court appearances.

eirigi general secretary Breandan Mac Cionnaith said: “The attempted strip searching of Colin Duffy is a clear breach of the agreement that was reached between the republican prisoners in Maghaberry and the Six County prison authorities, an agreement that was brokered and witnessed by independent facilitators.

“The strip searching and brutal assaults being inflicted on Colin are a calculated attempt by prison staff to undermine the agreement and return the prison to a situation of conflict.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “éirígí supports the call of Colin’s family for the joint facilitation group, which comprises the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Creggan Enterprises and the Dialogue Advisory Group, to publicly comment on the mistreatment being meted out by prison staff.

“All those with an interest in human rights have a responsibility to stand up for the rights of political prisoners before the situation in Maghaberry deteriorates further.”

Sinn Fein said it had also raised concerns over the alleged assaults. Assembly member for Upper Bann John O’Dowd said that he had raised raised the matter with the Stormont Justice Minister, David Ford.

“Anyone being held in prison deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. It is important that the prison administration now act to ensure that Mr Duffy is being treated properly and that his human rights are being protected,” he said.

“The allegation of assaults upon Mr Duffy must be robustly investigated with no hiding place for anyone committing such offences against prisoners who are supposed to be in the care of the prison service.”

© 2010 Irish Republican News