A High Court bid to prevent the PSNI police taking possession of confidential academic interviews with a former IRA Volunteer has been refused after a PSNI member said there was no increased threat to the interviewer.
Anthony McIntyre, a former political prisoner and writer, had sought to restrict disclosure of the archived material compiled for a history project at Boston College in the US.
The PSNI have sough access to all interviews he carried out with former IRA veteran Dolours Price. The interviews were carried out on the basis they would not be released or published until after her death.
Mr McIntyre said releasing the tapes and transcripts to the PSNI would put him under greater threat of being killed by republicans who would perceive it as a betrayal of the IRA’s code of silence.
However, a judge dismissed his case after a member of the PSNI claimed, without explanation, that he was not aware of any increased risk to McIntyre.
Justice Treacy said: “In light of the unequivocal response from the PSNI, supported by the threat assessment from the security authorities, I conclude that the applicant has failed to make out an arguable case that disclosure of the Boston College tapes would, as he claimed, materially increase the risk to his life or that of his family.”
Despite the latest ruling, the PSNI will not yet gain access to the tapes and transcripts.
Lawyers for McIntyre are expected to lodge an appeal, while other legal actions continue.
In New York, the US Supreme Court granted a temporary stay on the handover of interviews from the archive.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer granted the stay until at least October 11th. On that date the US government is due to formally respond to an application seeking the handover be stayed until the court decides whether to hold a full hearing on the case.