CASO BILLY WRIGHT: UN GOVERNATORE DEL PRISON SERVICE ORDINO’ LA DISTRUZIONE DEI FILES
Nell’ambito del procedimento volto a far luce sulla morte del lealista Billy Wright, il direttore del Prison Service dal 2000 al 2006, Douglas Bain, ha dichiarato che i governatori si consideravano autonomi e che difficilmente si attenevano alle politiche ufficiali.
Billy Wright, leader del Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), venne ucciso nel Maze nel 1997, da detenuti appartenenti all’INLA.
A tutt’oggi si sta cercando di far luce su di un eventuale collusione dei servizi penitenziari e altre autorità nell’omicidio.
Bain è stato chiamato a dare spiegazione sulla distruzione di 60.000 files, di cui 800 riguardanti i prigionieri rilasciati sulla base di quanto sancito dal Good Friday Agreement, ed altri riguardanti i registri in cui venivano descritte le attività nel blocco H-6, ovvero il blocco in cui avvenne l’omicidio.
Bain ha dichiarato che l’ordine di distruzione dei documenti è stato impartito direttamente dal governatore Martin Mogg (morto nel 2005), nonostante l’allora direttore del Prison Service avesse inviato a tutti i governatori, direttive perchè non fosse distrutto alcun file riconducibile a prigionieri definiti come terroristi o a prigionieri deceduti in carcere.
In precedenza Bain era stato attaccato da Alan Kane, avvocato della famiglia Wright, per non aver esibito un file riguardante il leader lealista quando iniziò il procedimento per la raccolta delle prove. La sua risposta è stata: “non sembrava essere rilevante”.
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Official tells Wright probe of governor’s order to burn files (Belfast Telegraph)
Governors of the Prison Service regarded themselves as autonomous and rarely obeyed official policies, a former director has told a public inquiry.
Douglas Bain, who was the director of services from 2000 to mid 2006, made the remarks in response to a line of questioning from panel members conducting the probe into the death of leading loyalist Billy Wright.
The LVF leader was shot dead by INLA inmates in the Maze prison in 1997.
The inquiry was set up following an investigation by retired Canadian judge Peter Cory into allegations of collusion by the prison service and other authorities.
Yesterday, during the last day of evidence, Mr Bain, who is now Chief Electoral Officer, was forced to explain how up to 60,000 prison services records were |destroyed despite a number of directives sent by him to the various governors spelling out that “under no circumstances” should records of any prisoner who had been deemed a terrorist or who had died in custody be destroyed.
Some of these records included security files on 800 prisoners including virtually every inmate released under the Good Friday Agreement, and journals describing activity in H-6, the block where the murder took place.
The inquiry heard that former governor Martin Mogg, who died in 2005, was the governor who ordered the “incineration” of the files.
When asked by inquiry panel member Andrew Coyle how he would react to a governor ordering the destruction of files even though they had received memos outlining that the action should never take place, Mr Bain replied: “Frankly, nothing would surprise me in the Prison Service. The governors regard themselves as autonomous.”
“Why did you try then?” Mr Coyle asked back. “Was that the sort of behaviour you would |expect?”
Mr Bain then replied that he meant the comment in general and that when he first heard that it was Mr Mogg who had ordered the destruction of the files, he thought “it was out of character”.
Earlier the former director of the Prison Service was also questioned by Alan Kane, a barrister acting on behalf of the Wright family, over why he failed to hand over a file on the murdered loyalist to the inquiry team when the process for collecting documents began.
Mr Bain said that he thought the file did “not appear to be relevant”.
The inquiry will return in June.