Irish Republican News · July 30, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Free Seamus Doherty

By Martin Mulholland, IRPWA

The Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association demands the immediate unconditional release of Derry Republican Seamus Doherty. There is widespread alarm within the Republican community that this miscarriage of justice is being allowed to continue despite serious doubts regarding the credibility of the charges against him.

Seamus Doherty has been in custody on remand since 13 June 2003 when he was charged in connection with the discovery of two Booby-trap car bombs outside Newry in September 2002. It is alleged that forensic evidence, namely DNA, links Seamus Doherty to components on one of the bombs. It has since been revealed that the security forces conspired to frame two south Down men, Martin Brogan and Mark Carroll, in connection with this explosives find and both men subsequently had all charges dropped.

Revelations that the RUC/PSNI and the British Army contaminated evidence interfered with the workings of the Independent Forensic Science Laboratory and used an undercover agent to set the men up have undermined any trust in these agencies.

While Brogan and Carroll have been released, Seamus Doherty is entering his 14th month in Maghaberry Gaol, undoubtedly a victim of the same undercover operation that failed against the two south Down men. Seamus Doherty is adamant that his DNA was planted by an agent and/or agencies of the state.

Shortly before Seamus Doherty’s arrest an RUC search team entered his home using their own key; Seamus was restrained while a number of the search team wandered around his flat unhindered. When Seamus managed to cry for help the intruders hurriedly vacated his apartment shouting “Wrong flat, let’s go”.

Despite repeated requests from Seamus Doherty’s solicitor, the RUC/PSNI has yet to give an explanation for their presence in his flat. The answer may lie in a letter from a forensic science lab in England to one in Carrickfergus which stated that DNA found on the explosives couldn’t be identified, and more ominously a handwritten note by a detective Allen which states “Maybe more work needs to be done?”

It is a cause for concern that less than 24 hours after the date on the letter a RUC/PSNI/FRU team is rummaging around Seamus Doherty’s flat where DNA is readily available from combs, toothbrushes or any number of items.

Given the recent high profile incidents of police malpractice/corruption and the undisputed evidence of politically motivated frame ups in the cases of Noel Abernethy, Martin Brogan, Mark Carroll, Sean Dillon, Don Mullan, Kevin Murphy and Brendan O Connor we in the IRPWA believe that Seamus Doherty ought to be freed immediately. It is obvious to anyone willing to see that the British State is still involved in framing critics of its rule in Ireland and it will use any means it deems necessary.

Not only do we demand the release of Seamus Doherty but we also call for all cases where DNA evidence has been used to hold or convict republicans to be thrown out of court, it is obvious nothing from these sources can be trusted. Finally we demand a full independent non-British inquiry into the machinations of the British Security establishment in the afore mentioned cases in order that justice might finally be done.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News