STRAGE DI CLAUDY. UN SOSPETTO NELLE MANI DELLA FBI
La PSNI fallisce nell’azione legale intentata per ottenere il diritto di visionare lo special di BBC sulla strage ed invia un investigatore negli USA per interrogare un sospetto detenuto dalla FBI
Il Police Service of Northern Ireland ha fallito in un’azione giudiziaria ‘senza precedenti’ di veder sancito il diritto di poter prendere visione dello special che Spotlight ha dedicato alla strage di Claudy, prima della sua messa in onda.
Tra le motivazioni principali addotte dalla PSNI, il timore che nel video possano essere rivelati i nomi degli indagati o dei testimoni.
Respingendo la richiesta della polizia, il giudice Tracey della High Court ha commentato la sua decisione affermando: “Non ritengo che vi sia sufficiente o addirittura alcun materiale in possesso della corte che potrebbe giustificare la decisione della corte stessa di concedere l’ingiunzione richiesta”.
Nello stesso giorno arriva la conferma da parte della PSNI dell’invio di un proprio investigatore negli Stati Uniti per procedere all’interrogatorio di un sospetto che si troverebbe attualmente nelle mani della FBI.
Solo qualche mese fa il rapporto del Police Ombudsman sulla strage che si consumò il 31 luglio 1972, rivelò una cospirazione tra Stato, RUC e Chiesta Cattolica per proteggere Padre James Chesney, prete cattolico, considerato tra i mandanti dell’attentato.
- PSNI’s BBC Claudy legal bid fails (bbc.co.uk)
- Justice call after Claudy report (bbc.co.uk)
- MP met Claudy bomb suspect priest (bbc.co.uk)
- Daly sceptical over Claudy claims (bbc.co.uk)
- Adams backs McGuinness on Claudy (bbc.co.uk)
- Claudy bombing: Martin McGuinness admits meeting accused priest (guardian.co.uk)
- Report Due On Claudy Bombing Priest Claims (news.sky.com)
- Claudy bombing report released – live updates (guardian.co.uk)
- The Cover-Up of a Priest’s Alleged Role in IRA Terror (time.com)
- The Claudy killings: Not peace but a sword (economist.com)
PSNI legal bid to view Spotlight Claudy programme fails (BBC News Northern Ireland)
The PSNI has failed in a ground breaking legal bid to view BBC NI’s Spotlight documentary into the Claudy bombing before it is broadcast on Tuesday night.
Lawyers for the Chief Constable sought a last-minute High Court injunction injunction to try and view the programme.
If that was not permitted, they wanted to stop it from being broadcast.
Nine people were killed in the attacks in 1972, but no one has ever been convicted.
One concern of the police was that suspects or witnesses in the investigation could be named in the documentary.
But the judge dismissed the case saying it was based on speculation about the programme’s contents, and it was an unprecedented application by the police.
Mr Justice Treacy also ordered the police to pay for the costs of the case.
Nine people died in bombings in Claudy, County Londonderry on 31 July 1972.
It was one of the worst atrocities of the Northern Ireland troubles.
A report by the NI Police Ombudsman which was published in August said the police, the state and the Catholic Church had covered up a priest’s suspected role in the bombing.
It found that detectives had concluded that the late Fr James Chesney, who was later moved to the Irish Republic, was a suspect.
No action was ever taken against Fr Chesney, who died in 1980.
Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson said that the government was “profoundly sorry” that Fr Chesney had not been properly investigated.
Claudy bomb suspect held by FBI (UTV)
A detective heading the Claudy bombing investigation has travelled to America to question a suspect detained by the FBI, it has been disclosed.
The confirmation came as the PSNI failed in an unprecedented legal bid to be allowed to view a television documentary into events surrounding the blasts before it is broadcast.
In one of the worst atrocities committed during the Northern Ireland conflict, nine people were killed in bomb attacks on the Co Derry village in July 1972.
Earlier this year, a Police Ombudsman report found senior RUC officers conspired with the government and the Catholic Church to protect a Catholic priest suspected over the attack.
The alleged collusion was to move Fr James Chesney, who died in 1980, to a parish in the Irish Republic.
Ahead of the BBC’s planned Spotlight programme into the Claudy bombing, lawyers for the Chief Constable sought a last-minute High Court injunction.
They wanted a senior detective to be permitted to view the documentary before it was screened to decide whether it could amount to contempt of court, interfere with the administration of justice, or breach confidentiality.
Alternatively, counsel for the PSNI sought to restrain broadcast until access could be gained to the programme.
One concern outlined was that suspects or witnesses in the investigation could be named in the documentary.
Barrister David Dunlop said the police investigation into the bombing remains active, and disclosed that a Chief Superintendent went to the USA last Friday as part of their inquiries.
He told the court: “As recently as last week a suspect was interviewed by a police officer from this jurisdiction travelling to America and doing that in conjunction with the FBI.”
Mr Dunlop stressed that rather than seeking to restrain publication, the PSNI merely wanted to gain access to the material.
He argued that if the programme contained anything which could hamper the investigation “the horse would have bolted” after broadcast.
Brett Lockhart QC, for the BBC, insisted his client took its duties and responsibilities as a public broadcaster “extremely seriously”.
He submitted: “If the court sought, for the first time ever in this novel application to give coercive relief it would essentially send a chilling effect to anyone involved in investigative journalism.”
The judge hearing the case, Mr Justice Treacy, pointed out that the legal bid was being mounted on the basis of pure speculation about the programme’s contents.
He said: “Nobody has ever attempted to do this before and no authority has been put before the court anywhere in the UK or indeed elsewhere to support this.”
He described it as an unprecedented application which, if it had succeeded, would have significantly extended the boundaries of existing case law.
Dismissing it, Mr Justice Treacy added: “I do not consider that there is sufficient or indeed any material before the court which would justify the court in granting the injunction sought.”