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Old 01-22-2003, 03:16 PM
KConnor56 KConnor56 is offline
Fianna Fail - Retired

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Default Irish Republican Prisoner News

01/10/03 11:42 EST

The loyalist paramilitary leader Johnny Adair has been
arrested and returned to prison tonight following the
revoking of his licence by Northern Ireland Secretary of
State, Paul Murphy.

Mr Murphy said: "I am satisfied that Adair is a danger to
others and while he is at liberty, is likely to commit
further offences. On the basis of security information
available to me, I have decided to return Johnny Adair to
prison. I will not hesitate to revoke the licence of any
prisoner released under the Remission of Sentences Act if
they present a risk to the safety of others."

Adair had previously been returned to prison for breaching
licence conditions in August 2000. On May 15, 2002, he was
released having reached the 50 per cent point of his

Adair and his 'political adviser' John White were recently
expelled from the UDA by its leadership. Adair is believed
to be the leader of the UDA's C Company on the lower
Shankill Road.

Following his expulsion, a feud between C Company and the
UDA has resulted in a series of shootings and murders.
__________________________________________________ ________

Adair's arrest won't end feud
Human Rights Commission may be asked for help to challenge in camera
hearings of the loyalist terrorist

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday January 12, 2003
The Observer

Johnny Adair's arrest this weekend does not spell the end of the feud that
has torn the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) apart.

Allies and enemies of the convicted loyalist terrorist confirmed last night
that the battle for control of Northern Ireland's largest paramilitary
grouping would continue despite Adair being behind bars.

And friends of the Shankill Road loyalist told The Observe that Adair's
legal team would be seeking help from the Northern Ireland Human Rights
Commission to overturn the Secretary of State's decision to put him back
into prison on Friday.

John White, Adair's political adviser and former UDA life sentence prisoner,
said they would still defy the organisation's leadership.

'The West Belfast Brigade is still 100 per cent behind Johnny Adair. Since
he was arrested, hundreds of loyalists have come to the lower Shankill to
express their support for Johnny and speak to his wife Gina. They do not
recognise the authority of the five brigadiers who expelled Johnny and
myself,' said White.

He added that while Adair was 'very angry' about being re-arrested the
leader of the UDA's West Belfast brigade 'remained philosophical about it'.

White said Adair's lawyers would talk to the Human Rights Commission about a
possible legal challenge to the conduct of the hearing against him. The
Government has the right to put charges against Adair without the leading
loyalist being present. The authorities argue that on the grounds of
national security they cannot let the prisoner know where the intelligence
gathered on him has emanated from.

Adair was sentenced to 15 years in 1994 for directing acts of terrorism.
However, he was freed early in 1998 under the Good Friday Agreement's
prisoner release scheme. In August 2000 Adair was re-arrested and put back
into jail during a violent feud with the rival Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Brice Dickson, the director of the Human Rights Commission in Northern
Ireland, said the organisation was seeking a case to test the legal validity
of the in camera hearings.

'We would want to test these hearings and find out if they breach the
European Convention on Human Rights. We are further concerned that the
Government can re-arrest someone on a vague notion that an individual might
have been involved in something without giving specific evidence,' he said.

Opponents of Adair and White said there was little prospect of mediation at
this stage despite this weekend's arrest. Three men have been shot dead and
several others have been wounded since the feud erupted inside the UDA in
the autumn.

Meanwhile the UVF, a rival organisation which Adair's faction of the UDA
fought a bitter feud with two years ago, has withdrawn its support for the
political process.

The Observer has learnt that the UVF's political wing, the Progressive
Unionist Party (PUP), was forced to pull out of all-party talks following a
mass meeting of the terror group last weekend.

The UVF's rank and file told the PUP it had no faith in the direction of the
peace process, which the terrorists said was loaded in favour of

The UVF's withdrawal of support for the political process is a threat to the
Good Friday Agreement's survival. The UVF had been seen as the most
pro-cease-fire and enthusiastic supporter of the peace deal inside the
loyalist community.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

Fair Trial Not A Farcical Travesty

Bernadette Sands McKevitt • 18 January, 2003

Over the last number of weeks I have observed with great interest the
criticisms of the Colombian trial of three Irish Citizens by eminent
Irish politicians, human rights activists and international observers.
The main criticisms being the length of custody - sixteen months, the
failure of the prosecution to deliver crucial evidence, specifically key
witnesses and whether or not these men could be guaranteed a fair trial
owing to the public statements of senior politicians including the
president of Colombia.

Irish politicians Finian McGrath, John Curran, and Senator Paul Bradford
and Paul Hill — one of the Guildford four all agreed that it is doubtful
if these men can get a fair trial and that the length of time — sixteen
months in custody — is too long.

Catriona Ruane, spokesperson for the ‘Bring them Home’ campaign
described the proceedings as a “travesty of justice,” claiming that if
this trial had happened in any other country in the world, these men
would be coming home.

Colombia is a long way from Dublin, Ireland, however, the criticisms
voiced so forcefully by all concerned could be echoed equally in the
case of my husband, Michael McKevitt.

On March 28th 2001, my husband and I were arrested at our home. When in
custody my husband was informed by a Detective Inspector that his arrest
had been a political decision and that he was being “stitched up”. After
being questioned for thirty-six hours I was released. However, my
husband was charged with membership and directing an illegal
organization — namely the IRA — the latter carrying a maximum sentence
of life imprisonment. These charges were levelled at my husband Michael
Mc Kevitt on the word of one person — David Rupert, who is an American
citizen of dubious character. My husband has been held on remand in
Portlaoise Prison for almost two years.

At a recent preliminary court hearing it was disclosed that David Rupert
worked for both the FBI and MI5. Mr. Rupert has been promised a
“resettlement payment” of three million dollars from the FBI and an
undisclosed amount from MI5 (believed to be in the region of
£2.5million) on completion of his testimony. In addition to this, an
outstanding IRS debt of 700,000 dollars was reduced and settled for
25,000 in November 2001. It was revealed that this self-confessed
criminal had been deployed to the Republic of Ireland by the FBI and MI5
without the knowledge of the Irish authorities.

Prior to my husband’s arrest, my family were demonised and vilified on a
continual basis by the media. It became commonplace that all sections of
the media felt they could say what they liked about our family and my
husband in particular. This trial by media included publishing
front-page photographs with the intention of identifying our young
children. This unprecedented, co-ordinated media onslaught, which
continues to this day, has ensured that my husband’s name is constantly
connected with the Omagh bomb. My husband has never been questioned nor
charged with any offence relating to this tragedy.

It gives me great strength to know that there are individuals and human
rights groups who are prepared to travel long distances to ensure that
justice is seen to be done. The Irish Government has been a champion of
human rights throughout the world, however, at a recent preliminary
hearing, our legal team were refused important disclosure documents.
This decision is a direct breach of Irish law and has ensured that my
husband will not be able to defend himself and the court case will have
a foregone conclusion.

In conclusion, my family asks for no more than that awarded to any other
Irish citizen - the right to a fair trial and presumption of innocence.
We feel that the co-ordinated media attention and the failure of the
authorities to disclose important information has seriously damaged my
husband’s chances of getting a fair trial.

We are also asking international observers to attend the trial, which is
currently scheduled to be held in Dublin’s non-jury Special Criminal
court on 11th February 2003. Your support in ensuring his right to
justice and a fair trial would be greatly appreciated.
Kconnor56's old account.
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