Alliance Party Deputy Leader Eileen Bell has demanded
that the Government make the needs of victims
paramount when planning legislation on ‘on-the-runs’.
Speaking after a meeting with the PSNI, the North Down
MLA stated: ‘The Government is clearly intent on
legislation allowing the return of so-called
“on-the-runs” to Northern Ireland, some of whom are
responsible for some of the worst atrocities during
the past 35 years.
‘This is perhaps a logical follow-on from the
Agreement. However, seeing the perpetrators of such
appalling acts walk freely on the streets will be yet
another extremely painful part of the process for the
victims of the conflict and their families. The needs
and feelings of these entirely innocent people must be
paramount in any legislation.
‘We have proposed to the Government that “on-the-runs”
face a special judicial tribunal, to ensure the
victims feel some sense of justice and, if they so
wish, the opportunity to see those responsible for
causing such suffering.
‘In this way society can, as it must, make clear that
what these people did was wrong, is still wrong, and
will not be forgotten.
‘The Alliance Party will continue to take the lead in
making constructive suggestions on behalf of victims
before the legislation is published, rather than
merely standing by and complaining about it