KELLY INCONTRA GERRY ADAMS ALLA STAZIONE DELLA PSNI DI ANTRIM


Kelly speaks to Adams at Antrim station (UTV)

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has said party president Gerry Adams has concerns about the damage his arrest will do to the PSNI’s image during a meeting inside Antrim PSNI station.

Mr Kelly spoke to Mr Adams after he was granted access into the police station, where the Louth TD is being held under the Terrorism Act.

He is being questioned in connection with the 1972 abduction and murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville.

He was arrested after he presented himself at Antrim Serious Crime Suite on Wednesday.

Extra time granted to police to question the 65-year-old will expire on Sunday evening.

Mr Kelly said Mr Adams was “doing fine and looks well”.

“Like myself and other members of Sinn Féin he believes that the timing of this was political,” he said outside the station.

“He’s worried about the damage it might be doing to the image of policing and that it’s being mishandled in that type of fashion.

“I also spent a considerable amount of time with his solicitor and what I’m being told is he’s (being asked) questions about what is called open source material.”

Mr Kelly said during questioning, officers had referred to the Boston tapes as well as images, Mr Adam’s autobiography and old newspaper articles.

The north Belfast representative said he had not been informed of what action police would be taking at the detention deadline.

Meanwhile First Minister Peter Robinson has condemned Sinn Féin’s actions following the arrest of party president Gerry Adams as an “unacceptable” attempt to blackmail the PSNI.

In a statement released on Sunday, Mr Robinson criticised pressure being put on police to release the Louth TD as “republican bullyboy tactics” and an “obscene politicising of the policing process”.

On Saturday, Sinn Féin representatives held a demonstration against Mr Adam’s continued detention as a mural of the former West Belfast MP was unveiled.

Addressing the crowd and gathered media, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the timing of the arrest ahead of upcoming elections was a “political” move by an “embittered rump of the old RUC” within the PSNI.

He also accused police of “deliberately and cynically exploiting the awful killing of Jean McConville and the grief and hurt of her family.”

Mr McGuinness made comments on Friday that the party would “reflect” and “review” its support for policing if Mr Adams is charged.

However, the DUP leader accused Mr McGuinness of “inconsistency” and being “incapable of supporting the PSNI when it comes to the investigation of Mr Adams”.

“They must be completely free to follow any and all evidence regardless of where it takes them and to decide free of political considerations whether suspects will be charged or not,” Mr Robinson continued.

“I warn Sinn Féin that they have crossed the line and should immediately cease this destructive behaviour.

“What we need in these circumstances is leadership – it is patently absent in the republican movement.”

Speaking to UTV, DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson added that he didn’t believe the events had caused a political crisis.

Justice Minister David Ford and Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers have defended the police’s handling of the arrest and denied it was politically motivated.

Mrs McConville was aged 37 when she was interrogated, shot in the back of the head and then secretly buried – becoming one of the so-called “Disappeared” victims of the Troubles.

Her body was not found until 2003 on a beach in Co Louth.

A veteran republican – 77-year-old Ivor Bell – was charged in March with aiding and abetting the murder and five others have been detained and questioned.

The recent police activity followed a decision by a US court compelling a Boston university to hand over to the PSNI recorded interviews with republicans about Mrs McConville’s murder.

Mr Adams has always strenuously denied allegations levelled by former republican colleagues that he had any involvement in the murder of Mrs McConville, who was wrongly suspected of being an informer for the British Army.

If charged he would appear at a special court sitting on Sunday or Monday.

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