BREAKING NEWS. GERRY ADAMS IN LIBERTA’
Gerry Adams Gerry Adams was arrested by Northern Ireland police on Wednesday night
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams will be released from police custody after being held over a 1972 murder and a file will be sent to the Public Prosecution Service, the BBC has learned.
Mr Adams has been questioned at Antrim PSNI Station since Wednesday, after he was arrested in connection with the murder of Jean McConville.
The 37-year-old widow and mother of 10 was abducted from her home in west Belfast, shot and secretly buried by the IRA.
Her body was found a beach in County Louth in 2003.
Mr Adams has always denied involvement in the killing.
Police had until 20:00 BST on Sunday to charge or release Mr Adams.
Sinn Féin had condemned the arrest, claiming it was political and hinting that they may reconsider their support for the police.
However, unionists said no-one should be above the law and Democratic Unionist leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson accused Sinn Féin of trying to “blackmail” the police.
The decision to release Mr Adams would mean that prosecution lawyers will decide if charges will be brought.
The file sent by the police to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) will detail the evidence gathered.
It will be up to PPS lawyers to decide if there is enough evidence to bring any charges and what those charges would be.
The test for prosecution is met if there is sufficient evidence that can be admitted in court to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction. Lawyers must also decide if the prosecution is required in the public interest.
Mrs McConville is one of Northern Ireland’s Disappeared, those who were abducted, murdered and buried in secret by republicans during the Troubles.
She was kidnapped in front of her children after being wrongly accused of being an informer to the British Army.
Last month, Ivor Bell, 77, a leader in the Provisional IRA in the 1970s, was charged with aiding and abetting the murder, and there have also been a number of other arrests recently.