PETIZIONE DEL TUV IN SUPPORTO DI TORRENS KNIGHT
Un membro del Traditional Unionist Voice si schiera in difesta del killer lealista Torrens Knight
Jimm Allister, leader del Traditional Unionist Voice, sostiene con fermezza che la petizione lanciata dal membro di partito Trever collins, non ha nulla a che fare con il TUV stesso.
Collins si sta adoperando nella raccolta di firme a sostegno del rilascio del killer lealista Torrens Knight, uno dei responsabili del massacro di Greysteel la notte di Halloween del 1993.
Venne scarcerato dopo 7 anni di detenzione sulla base dei principi sanciti dal Good Friday Agreement. Dopo la condanna di ieri a 4 mesi di detenzione per aver aggredito 2 sorelle di Coleraine, Knight potrebbe vedersi revocata la licenzia di rilascio ottenuto nel luglio del 2000.
Collins esprime il suo sostegno dichiarando: “so che questo uomo è cambiato da quando ès tato rilasicato”.
“Non è mai stata realmente una cattiva persona, ma i Troubles in Irlanda del Nord hanno indotto molti giovani a fare cose che non avrebbero mai fatto in normali circostanze”.
Jim Allister ha affermato di non aver ricevuto alcuna richiesta di apporre la propria firma alla petizione. Dal TUV nessuna particolare presa di posizione, se non la conferma dell’inesistenza di un alcun piano volto ad espellere Collins dalle proprie file.
Greysteel killer Knight petition ‘not organised by TUV’ (BBC News Northern Ireland)
Jim Allister has said a petition, organised by a TUV member in support of a convicted loyalist murderer, has nothing to do with his party.
However, the Traditional Unionist Voice leader did confirm Garvagh businessman Trevor Collins was a party member.
Mr Collins has been collecting signatures seeking the release of Greysteel murderer Torrens Knight.
Knight’s early release licence has been suspended after he was convicted of assaulting two sisters in Coleraine.
He had been released early under the Good Friday Agreement after serving seven years for taking part in the Greysteel massacre in 1993 and for killing four workmen in Castlerock earlier the same year.
His licence was suspended by the Secretary of State Shaun Woodward who said Knight’s convictions for assault and disorderly behaviour demonstrated that he had “breached the terms of his life licence” and presented “a risk to the safety of others”.
Sentence Review Commissioners will now determine if the early release licence granted to Knight in July 2000 should be revoked.
Mr Collins said while he did not condone the murders carried out by Knight, he did not think he should be made to serve his full sentence.
“I did not agree with what happened in Greysteel or Castlerock, but from he was released I know this man has changed,” he said.
“He never was a real bad person, but the Troubles in Northern Ireland provoked many a young man to do things that they wouldn’t have done in normal circumstances.”
TUV leader Mr Allister said he had not been asked to sign the petition. A spokesman for the party said there were no plans to revoke Mr Collins’ membership.
SDLP assembly member John Dallat said he was disgusted by the petition.
“While I note that the TUV has distanced itself from the petition I would have thought that they would throw the organiser, Trevor Collins, out of the party if they really believe so strongly that all early release prisoners should be behind bars,” he said.
“No one should be in any doubt that the only place for Knight is back in jail where he does not constitute a danger to the public.”
Eight people were shot dead when the UFF opened fire inside the Rising Sun bar in the County Londonderry village of Greysteel at Halloween 1993.
One of the gunmen shouted “trick or treat” before opening fire on customers.
In 2005, another of the Greysteel killers, Stephen Irwin, who had also been released early under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, was convicted of slashing a football supporter with a knife during an Irish Cup Final football match.
He was returned to prison and his licence was revoked.