Long welcomes review appointment

Alliance MP Naomi Long has welcomed the appointment of a judge to conduct an independent review into the ‘on the run’ letter scheme.

Mrs Long said the selection of Lady Justice Hallett by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers to oversee the examination of who had knowledge and maintained oversight of the scheme, which issued ‘comfort letters’ stating those who received them would not be prosecuted, could help provide some clarity.

She said the independent review would complement the work of the Northern Ireland Select Affairs Committee, which is also due to release terms of reference for its inquiry imminently.

The East Belfast MP said she hoped the moves would bring some transparency to a “murky situation”.

“This was a shabby and secretive deal, conducted without the knowledge of Parliament, the Assembly’s Justice Minister or crucially, the victims of the Troubles.

“The victims of those who are ‘on the run’ have gone through more suffering since the details of this scheme came to light. Whilst nothing can undo that hurt, it is important the circumstances in which such a deal was made and the potential impact on other cases is properly investigated and lessons learned.

“I hope both the independent review and the Committee’s inquiry will be able to shed some light and receive the answers we need to be able to move beyond this to find a comprehensive way to address the legacy of the Troubles, which respects victims, builds reconciliation and does so on a foundation of truth, justice and integrity.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *