'No evidence' RUC knew of Adams attack

'No evidence' RUC knew of Adams attack

No evidence of police involvement in the shooting of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams 30 years ago has been found, a report from the Police Ombudsman said.

A car with Mr Adams and four other men on board was attacked by UFF gunmen in Belfast city centre on 14 March 1984 as he made his way from a court appearance.The vehicle was riddled with bullets but the driver, despite being hit twice by the gunfire, managed to get the vehicle to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where they all received medical attention.An off-duty UDR soldier who was in the area drove after the gunmen's car and confronted them as they stopped in traffic, before an off-duty policeman and two soldiers in plain clothes arrived.Three men were detained and later convicted and sentenced over the attack.Mr Adams, who was 35 at the time of the shooting, made a complaint to the Police Ombudsman in 2006 claiming the security forces had prior knowledge of what happened or had been involved.He said he felt 'something was not quite right' about the entire incident and wondered how security force personnel 'coincidentally' appeared at the scene that day.We have talked to all the people involved in the events that day, including the perpetrators, the victims and the police.Dr Michael MaguireBut the ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, has said he has found no evidence that police knew of, or were involved in away way, in the attack on Mr Adams.He said: "We have examined all the available evidence, including forensic and sensitive intelligence material and found no evidence that police knew of the attack beforehand."The investigation probed claims that a police informant, a highly placed member of the outlawed UFF, was involved in planning the attack, that a retired RUC detective said police knew of the plan a week before it happened and that the bullets used had been "doctored" to make them less lethal.Teams spoke to Mr Adams, to the soldiers who arrived on the scene, to bystanders who saw what happened, to gunmen who carried out the attack and to retired police officers.The detective inspector in charge of investigating the attack said he was not aware of the police or security forces having any information before the shooting but acknowledged he may not have known of all the intelligence.One of the men convicted of the attack said he did not plan it, while the getaway driver said the attack may have been planned near or on the day, and the third man was murdered in 2003.The soldiers provided accounts of why they were present, supported by independent witnesses and the off-duty police officer has died.Investigators found nothing in intelligence material held by police to indicate that the force had any warning of the attack or that any of their informants were involved.In a statement, Mr Adams has described the report as "incomplete".The Sinn Féin politician said: "The Ombudsman should seek access to British Army files and other pertinent intelligence records and set aside his conclusions until this is done."I will write to him formally asking him to do this."Meanwhile DUP Policing Board member Jonathan Craig said the report had been "detailed" and found "nothing to corroborate" Mr Adams' claims.He said: "Those police officers and members of the security forces involved in attempting to apprehend those responsible were willing to be interviewed and to provide whatever assistance was necessary."

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