Baggott rejects PSNI 'dark side' claims

Baggott rejects PSNI 'dark side' claims

Chief Constable Matt Baggott has rejected claims of a "dark side" of policing within the PSNI as "unfair" and "inappropriate".

It comes after Sinn Féin deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he feels his party president's arrest was a "political" move by an "embittered rump of the old RUC".Gerry Adams was questioned for four days in relation to the 1972 abduction and murder of Jean McConville before being released pending report to the PPS. He denies any involvement.Matt Baggott on Tuesday said: "Under the Patten architecture, to which all political parties have signed up, there are numerous ways in which policing concerns can be addressed, notably through the independent Police Ombudsman, Policing Board or Human Rights Commissioner."As such, questioning the motivation or impartiality of police officers tasked with investigating serious crime in this very public, generalised and vague manner, is both unfair and inappropriate.It would have been wrong to treat Mr Adams any differently to other citizens.Matt Baggott"The arrest and questioning of Mr Adams was legitimate and lawful and an independent judge subsequently decided that there were grounds for further detention."Prosecutorial decisions will also be made independently by the PPS."Earlier, First Minister Peter Robinson said that the DUP would have tried to exclude Sinn Féin from the Stormont Executive if they had not "corrected their position" on support for policing."That is requiring full support for the Police Service of Northern Ireland; requiring them to encourage everybody to cooperate with the police," he told UTV."Those are the terms and the pledge of office."I don't think Sinn Féin lived up to that over the last week. Martin McGuinness didn't live up to that over the last week. They're starting to haul themselves back."Responding to the claims, Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy has said any DUP "attempts to exclude Sinn Féin from the political process" will fail.He continued: "There was absolutely no basis for these comments from Peter Robinson. For decades unionists excluded nationalists and republicans from the political process in the North.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)"It is clear that there are those within the leadership of the DUP who would love a return to the days of one-party unionist rule. That is simply not going to happen. There is no going back."Mr Adams has voiced concerns over the timing of his arrest and the fact he was detained under the Terrorism Act, but stated following his release that he supported the police."I want to make it clear that I support the PSNI," he said. "I will continue to work with others to build a genuinely civic policing service."

© UTV

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