The following open letter was issued on behalf of Brendan and John Paul by the 'Justice for the Craigavon Two' group ahead of the opening of their appeal this week.
We the Craigavon Two as we have become known, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton are to begin our appeal against our life sentence convictions for the killing of PSNI member Stephen Carroll.
We have consistently maintained our innocence and we believe as do others that the case against us represents a serious miscarriage of justice,we were tried in exceptional circumstances under the old and seriously flawed Diplock process, a hangover from the long conflict here, this system deprived us of a trial by a jury of our peers, instead a single judge presided over and convicted us.
The entire case against us was circumstantial and we believe seriously flawed, large tracts of evidence was hidden from us and the public, claiming national security. Public interest immunity certificates prevented our defence from properly investigating the evidence and cross examining witnesses vital to our defence case, in effect we were left with one arm tied behind our backs. We do not believe this represents clear and transparent justice.
A number of groups and individuals after reading into our case have expressed sufficient concern that many have stated publicly they will be attending the appeal process to provide independent oversight.
Our appeal starts on Monday (29,4,13) we the Craigavon Two, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton call on you, the public to observe the appeal process, this warped version of justice is being administered in your name and we ask you to look past the sensationalist headlines and look at the cold hard facts of this case, your voice matters, do not let this miscarriage of justice continue in your name.
The Craigavon Two
Brendan McConville & John Paul Wootton