Irish Republican News · May 10, 2013
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Martin Corey denied a hearing


Interned republican Martin Corey has been refused permission to appeal to Britain’s Supreme Court the refusal to provide his lawyers with the ‘closed intelligence’ used as an excuse to keep him behind bars for the past three years.

Supporters said the news “came without warning” and was “devastating” to their justice efforts, but vowed to continue their campaign with an appeal to the European courts.

The 63-year-old veteran activist was ordered to be held in Maghaberry Prison since 2010 by the then British Direct Ruler Shaun Woodward on the basis of information variously described as “closed”, “confidential”, or “secret”.

In July 2012, a Belfast High Court judge ordered his immediate release because of the secrecy applied to the so-called evidence against him -- but that this was overturned within hours by Woodward’s successor, Owen Paterson.

His defence team have argued that they are being prevented from defending against allegations that he is a danger to public safety because three successive Direct Rulers have now refused to disclose whatever intelligence they claim to have.

His lawyer Peter Murphy say they will consider taking a human rights case to the European court at Strasbourg.

He said: “We harbour the greatest concerns about the authenticity and strength of these allegations that have seen Mr Corey, deprived of his liberty for over three years.

“In short, we see this as internment 2013 and if there is any real confidence on the part of the (current British Direct Ruler, Theresa Villiers) that any one of these allegations is true, then we would challenge those responsible for having Mr Corey incarcerated to initiate a proper investigation, and if needs be, charge Mr Corey.

“We are surprised and disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court but are nevertheless bound by its ruling.

“We will now however be seeking to have our client’s basic human rights and specifically the right to challenge the ongoing deprivation of his liberty, vindicated by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg”.

Jim McIlmurray, who acts as a spokesman for Mr Corey, said: “Martin has come to expect little, and often accept less, when it comes to the justice system in the north of Ireland.”

He said that because they have been denied access to Britain’s highest court, it will be harder to achieve a hearing in Europe within a “realistic” timescale.

“Within the past three years, Martin has never been questioned, charged, or sentenced. He has served what amounts to a six year sentence,” he said.

“We are currently awaiting a confirmed date for a parole hearing. Martin is entitled to an annual Parole Board Review. In February of this year the European Court of Human Rights stated that 13 months was an unacceptable period of time for a prisoner to wait for a parole hearing. Martin has now waited 19 months without a parole review.

“Today’s announcement of the High Court ruling has been a bitter blow to the campaign for his release, but it will not undermine our determination in seeking his release. If anything, it will harden our resolve for justice.

“We need to expose this continuing tyranny. British government officials are quick enough to state that the world’s worst human rights abusers are Burma, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan.

“Over the past three years I have witnessed first hand everything these officials have done to Martin and I feel the British government is making a mockery of truth by not including its own name on the list.”

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