Police to question Massereene lawyer

Published Wednesday, 02 November 2011
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Police have rescheduled what they call a "planned voluntary interview" with leading lawyer Peter Corrigan, which was due to take place on Thursday, at a later date.

Detectives said new information was received on Wednesday which made it "inappropriate" to progress with the questioning.

It has now been rearranged for a "suitable date in the future".

Belfast man Mr Corrigan is due within days to lead the defence of two men - Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers - accused of murdering Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar at Massereene Army Barracks in 2009.

It is understood that the police move is not connected to the case.

Mr Corrigan is understood to have been asked to report to the PSNI "on matters relating to money laundering charges against two of his clients", according to the Committee on the Administration of Justice.

The human rights organisation had expressed concern over the timing of what they described as a "proposed arrest".

"In this instance, we are especially concerned about the circumstances of this proposed arrest - which is on an unrelated matter - but is timed just a few days before Mr Corrigan is due to lead the defence of one of the accused at one of the most high profile murder trials of recent times," CAJ director Brian Gormally said.

"It is wrong and dangerous to identify lawyers with their clients or their clients' causes as a result of discharging their professional duties as legal representatives."

"It is incumbent on the PSNI to demonstrate that they can stand over this drastic course of action being entirely necessary at this particular point in time," he added.

Kevin Winters, of Kevin Winters and Company, said the planned "arrest" of Mr Corrigan, a partner in the law firm, "represents oppression of the worst kind".

In a statement to UTV, he said: "It is an attack on the integrity of a lawyer defending his client and sends out a sinister message to those who robustly defend the interests of those charged before our criminal justice system."

In a statement, the PSNI said: "Police have a legal responsibility to follow all lines of inquiry as part of their investigations into organised criminality. No inference should be drawn from this. Police are continuing to make a number of inquiries into money laundering".

© UTV News
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3 Comments
Jackie in Craigavon wrote (993 days ago):
The arrogance of some sections of the legal profession shines through again. Are they above the same scruitiny as they rest of us, why is it when the spotlight is shone on them the waters are muddied by suggestions of alterior motives, something which the media jump on to create headlines.
Ellis in Co L''''derry wrote (993 days ago):
Why all the fuss? A solicitor has been asked to report to the PSNI - they have a job to do. Kevin Winters & Co would be the first to complain if the PSNI didn't do their job. Who brought this information into the public domain? It certainly wasn't the PSNI. How can this be described as oppression? The CAJ need to concentrate on real injustice. Why are we only hearing part of a story?
John in Bangor wrote (993 days ago):
If it about a different matter, how can they say- It is wrong and dangerous to identify lawyers with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their professional duties as legal representatives. It appears to have nothing to do with the upcoming trial....
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