Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has condemned the Prime Minister for failing to understand the nature of criticisms being levelled against his Government’s scheme for dealing with paramilitary fugitives.
Dr Farry stated: “It is clear that the Prime Minister does not appreciate the nature of the objections being voiced against the Government’s scheme for dealing with so-called ‘on-the-runs’.
“It is not a simplistic choice between letting the fugitives go and sending them to prison. There are a number of specific points relating to the mechanics of the scheme.
“Paramilitary fugitives were not mentioned within the Agreement. The only way forward is to address the issue in a manner consistent with the Agreement and natural justice.
“The Prime Minister needs to address why it would be wrong to ensure that the IRA deal with the issue of the exiles first. It would be perverse if IRA fugitives were allowed to return home, while those exiled by the IRA do not have that luxury because threats have not been lifted. The Government seem to have a strange reluctance to use the leverage they do have to achieve
other necessary outcomes.
“Similarly, what is wrong with insisting that OTRs must themselves appear before the judicial tribunal rather than allowing some proxy to represent them. Surely the many victims of the atrocities these fugitives committed deserve better than that?”