Larkin defends Troubles proposals

Larkin defends Troubles proposals

Northern Ireland's Attorney General has defended his comments that there should be an end to Troubles-related prosecutions.

In November, the Executive's most senior legal advisor John Larkin QC said the court process was not the best way to deal with the past and that prosecutions for historical crimes should not be brought.Mr Larkin also said that access to state records should be increased with added legal protection for those who report the findings.The remarks caused outrage from victims' families who believed his proposals amounted to an amnesty.Prime Minister David Cameron said blocking future prosecutions would be "dangerous" in terms of reconciling people with the past.While Justice Minister David Ford was also against the move, saying a process must include "justice, truth and reconciliation".The main political parties also reacted widely in opposition.More than 3,000 people were killed during the Troubles, with many of their families still awaiting justice.Speaking to UTV on Thursday, Mr Larkin said he "absolutely" did not regret his decision to speak on the matter."They were intended to spark debate and they have certainly done that," he said.Mr Larkin reiterated that he had not called for an amnesty and added that the debate that followed had been "fruitful" and "constructive".He added that anyone with "human sympathy" could see how difficult and painful the situation is for those victims still hoping for justice."One can't really put oneself adequately in the place of a victim but as I said at the time the very least our victims are entitled to is honesty," he continued."And is it likely that there will be a successful prosecution now if they didn't take place years ago and I think the answer to that is still no."


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