Conspiracy In Ireland: North & South

ramonmercado

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I'm putting this as a separate story as the other Stakeknife story concerns a Tribunal which he has only a slight link to.


Woman sues Stakeknife accused Fred Scappaticci
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14049750
By Vincent Kearney
BBC NI home affairs correspondent

Fred Scappaticci denies being the agent known as Stakeknife
A woman who claims she was interrogated and falsely imprisoned by Fred Scappaticci, the man alleged to be the British agent in the IRA Stakeknife, has launched legal action against him.

Margaret Keeley, who was married to the former MI5 informer Kevin Fulton, is already suing the Ministry of Defence and the police.

She alleges they allowed her to be interrogated by a man working as an agent of the state.

Mr Scappaticci denies being an agent.

Mrs Keeley, who is from Newry, is claiming damages for personal injuries, false imprisonment and assault.

An initial request to include Mr Scappaticci in the legal action was refused. The decision was overturned on appeal and a writ has now been served.

Mrs Keeley told the BBC that over three days in 1994, she and her husband were taken to Castlereagh police station and questioned by detectives about an attack on a senior RUC officer.

'It's unreal'
When she was released, the IRA took her to a house in the New Lodge area of north Belfast and interrogated her for two days.

She said she had no doubt about who was in charge during the IRA interrogation.

"Freddie Scapaticci," she said. "I knew him from Dundalk and then I seen a photo of him as well and I said that's him, one of the ones that was there interrogating me.

"He interrogated me on two different occasions."

She said she "couldn't believe it " when she saw stories in the media alleging that the man who interrogated her was, in fact, an agent for the security services.

"It's unreal and he should be brought to justice for what he has done to people and myself."

In his judgement, which overturned the initial decision not to include Mr Scappaticci in the legal action, Mr Justice McCloskey said the allegations gave rise to "acute public concern and interest... and raise the spectre of a grave and profound assault on the rule of law and an affront to public conscience".

The man at the centre of the case is the grandson of an Italian immigrant who came to Northern Ireland in search of work.

Fred Scappaticci was a bricklayer, who was accused of leading a secret double life.

He has admitted in the past to being a republican but denied claims that he was an IRA informer.

Unprecedented
Interviewed by the BBC in May 2003, he said: "I am Fred Scappaticci. I'm telling you I am not guilty of any of these allegations."

When he was asked if he was a member of the IRA and involved in the republican movement, he replied: "I was involved in the republican movement 13 years ago, but I have no involvement this past 13 years."

Fred Scappaticci's west Belfast solicitor has now been given a writ stating that his client is being sued, and giving him two weeks to respond.

A solicitor acting for Margaret Keeley, Kevin Winters, said the case was "unprecedented".

"It's hugely significant. It marks the first time that the courts have intervened in a case of this nature. Indeed, quoting the words of the judge, that's what he confirmed."

Fred Scappaticci's solicitor on Wednesday confirmed that a writ has been served, and said the allegations would be "vigorously denied".
 

ramonmercado

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The latest.

Garland linked to $250,000 in fake notes, court told
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 46908.html
CAROL COULTER, Legal Affairs Editor

Tue, Jul 19, 2011

A VETERAN Irish republican handed over almost a quarter of a million fake US dollars in Russian hotels in an international plot to spread the “supernotes” across Europe, the High Court heard yesterday.

Seán Garland (77), of Beldonstown, Brownstown, Navan, Co Meath, is opposing his extradition to the US to face charges of distributing fake US dollars.

In an affidavit to the court, Brenda Johnson, assistant US attorney, said: “This case involved a long-standing and large-scale supernotes distribution network based in the Republic of Ireland and headed by Seán Garland, a senior officer in the Irish Workers’ Party.”

Ms Johnson alleged one of Mr Garland’s alleged co-conspirators, Hugh Todd, later told investigators he purchased more than $250,000 of “supernotes” from “the Garland organisation” which were redistributed into the world economy through currency exchanges across Europe.

Ms Johnson’s affidavit states Mr Garland knew the Federal Reserve notes were counterfeit, that he travelled circuitous routes and met with other conspirators to discuss the supernotes operation and engage in transactions.

Michael Forde SC, argued his client had been accused of a transnational conspiracy, but the charge fell under Ireland’s forgery or money laundering laws. He should therefore be tried in Ireland rather than be extradited.

“The rationale is very simple,” said Mr Forde. “If the offence was committed against Irish law, and a substantial part committed in the State, then the State should prosecute.”

His legal team also argued that Mr Garland’s fundamental rights have been infringed, there had been a delay in making the second extradition order and the extradition was connected with a political offence. Mr Forde also claimed the application was based on hearsay and had not established a prima facie case.

Richard Humphreys SC, also counsel for Mr Garland, said that if they were wrong about the Irish courts having jurisdiction the issue arose of whether there was correspondence between the offence in US law and Irish law on the relevant date.

He said most of the alleged offences had taken place between 1999 and 2000 and in those years they did not constitute an offence under Irish law. This meant there was no correspondence between the alleged offences under US and Irish law.

“A conspiracy has to be to do something unlawful,” he said. “A number of major elements are missing. Forgery of foreign banknotes was not an offence then. The extra-territorial dimension was not present.” Referring to the issue of Mr Garland’s rights, he said the “ political character of the offence jumps off the page”.

The hearing continues today.
 

ramonmercado

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US claims conspiracy involved North Korea
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 46850.html
CAROL COULTER

Tue, Jul 19, 2011

It has taken six years for the extradition case against Seán Garland to come to court

A 77-year-old man suffering from cancer, diabetes and a heart condition is the unlikely focus of an extradition application which involves high-quality counterfeit dollars, an alleged Marxist conspiracy on the part of North Korea to destabilise the US economy and the actions of secret service agents from a number of countries.

According to indictment documents filed before a Grand Jury in the US and revealed in 2005, Seán Garland, former chief of staff of the IRA and later president of the Workers’ Party, conspired with six others to smuggle and circulate internationally dollars forged in North Korea. In 1989 the US secret service noticed very high quality fake $100 bills in circulation and traced them to the government laboratory and printing press in North Korea. According to the indictment, Marxist-leaning groups throughout the world were used to circulate them.

Garland came to the Americans’ attention in the early 1990s, when the first “supernotes”, as they were known, appeared on Dublin streets. After the secret service were notified by the US embassy, they moved quickly to stop the trade and soon Dublin banks and money exchanges refused to exchange $100 bills.

The indictment claims that in the late 1990s Garland travelled to Moscow to arrange the purchase of the fake notes and smuggling them to Dublin, from where they were collected by English criminals for further distribution.

In 2002, three of them, David Levin of Birmingham and London, Terry Silcock and Mark Adderley, both from Birmingham, were jailed for nine, six and four years respectively for what police said was the largest counterfeit dollar operation ever seen in Britain. Silcock alone handled $4.2 million in counterfeit money, the court heard, and the whole operation was worth $29 million.

Garland is accused in the US of conspiring with them and Christopher John Corcoran ( 57), of Dublin to purchase, transport and resell the counterfeit dollars.

However, no move was made to arrest him until he attended a Workers’ Party conference in Belfast in October 2005, when he was arrested and released on bail pending an extradition hearing.

He fled to the South, claiming he had no confidence in the protections afforded him in the North and saying he was placing himself “under the protection of my own country and my own country’s Constitution”. Michael Forde SC, his counsel, told an earlier hearing Garland’s solicitor wrote to his local gardaí in Navan in 2005 stating the US or Britain may seek his extradition and he would readily make himself available for arrest.

However, the US authorities did not seek his extradition until late 2008, and he was arrested in January 2009. He was granted bail and the case was adjourned a number of times before it opened yesterday.

Extradition law requires that the offence with which a person is charged in the requesting country is of minimum gravity and corresponds to an offence in this country.

There is also a “political offence” exemption, which will be argued by Garland in these proceedings, on the basis that North Korea was engaged in political conflict with the US.
 

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Undercover police officer unlawfully spied on climate activists, judges rule

Mark Kennedy was arguably an agent provocateur, says appeal verdict quashing Ratcliffe-on-Soar conspiracy convictions

Rob Evans and Paul Lewis
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 20 July 2011 17.32 BST

Undercover police officer Mark Kennedy was 'involved in activities that went much further than the authorisation he was given', the appeal court judges ruled

Three senior judges have ruled that the undercover police officer Mark Kennedy unlawfully spied on protesters and arguably acted as an "agent provocateur".

In a damning ruling explaining why they quashed the convictions of 20 climate change activists, the court of appeal judges said they shared the "great deal of justifiable public disquiet" about the case.

The judges, who included the lord chief justice, said there had been a "miscarriage" of justice as a result of prosecutors failing to disclose to the defendants vital evidence gathered by the undercover officer.

The activists discovered their convictions for conspiracy to break into Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station had been quashed on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, giving their reasons for overturning the convictions, the judges made stinging criticisms about Kennedy's undercover operation, which they revealed was part of a long-term police infiltration of "extreme leftwing groups in the UK".

The judges said Kennedy "was involved in activities which went much further than the authorisation he was given, and appeared to show him as an enthusiastic supporter of the proposed occupation of the power station and, arguably, an agent provocateur".

The suggestion that an undercover police officer may have incited criminal actions is likely to be damaging to Sir Hugh Orde, who has been tipped as a replacement for the outgoing Met commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson.

Orde runs the Association of Chief Police Officers, which until recently managed the network of undercover operatives sent to spy on political groups.

Wednesday's ruling heaps further criticism on the police and prosecutors, who have been subjected to seven official inquiries into their conduct of the case.

The campaigners who were charged with plotting to occupy the power station have walked free.

Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Calvert-Smith, declared: "Something went seriously wrong with the trial. The prosecution's duties in relation to disclosure were not fulfilled. The result was that the appellants were convicted following a trial in which elementary principles which underpin the fairness of our trial procedures were ignored.

"The jury were ignorant of evidence helpful to the defence, which was in the possession of the prosecution but which was never revealed. As a result justice miscarried."

Turning to Kennedy, they said the undercover officer – who infiltrated the environmental movement for seven years – had "apparently convincingly purported to be a supporter of the beliefs of those who later became involved in the plot" to break into the power station.

Under laws regulating surveillance operations, police officers are only allowed to take part in activities their superiors have approved beforehand.

Kennedy, who operated under the codename UCO 133, was authorised only to drive and drop off "the activists prior to them committing offences. UCO 133 will withdraw from the vicinity of the power station to avoid arrest and avoid becoming a witness to offences." That authorisation was given on April 9 2009, four days before the planned power station break-in.

However, the judges said Kennedy had personally taken part in reconnaissance trips of the power station as far back as January 2009. "When the protesters started to congregate just before the proposed occupation, it appears that Kennedy went much further than his authorisation."

The judges said he was one of two people who checked if there were police guarding the police station, and cited an instance when he agreed to use his expertise as a climber to get into the plant.

Prosecutors, in conceding that the activists were innocent, said it was "at least arguable … that he was regarded as something of an éminence grise by some of the younger activists upon whom they relied for advice and support".

The judges said: "In short, it appears that he played what can fairly be described, in the submission of Matthew Ryder QC on behalf of the appellants, 'a significant role in assisting, advising and supporting … the very activity for which these appellants were prosecuted'."

Kennedy was among 114 activists arrested hours before the proposed break-in was due to begin. In the months after the arrest, according to the judges, he "continued to be part of the group of campaigners and continued to provide information to his police handler about how the suspects who had been bailed were responding to the arrests".

He had covertly recorded a meeting of activists the day before the proposed break-in. The contents of these tapes, said the judges, would have undermined the prosecution's case, but were never disclosed to lawyers working for the campaigners.

The judges also revealed that Kennedy, who had begun to sympathise with the activists, wrote an official statement which provided "a measure of support" for the defendants, but which was also not disclosed.

After he was exposed last year, Kennedy offered to help the campaigners in their trial, but later withdrew his offer.

On Wednesday afternoon, Kennedy through his PR adviser, Max Clifford, said: "I refute the claim that I acted as an agent provocateur. At no time have I, or did I, actively encourage a group or person to engage in an activity that they were not already engaged in."

Vera Baird, a former Labour solicitor-general, criticised police chiefs. "It was an ill-thought-out campaign to undermine people who turned out to be honest campaigners, not criminals, during which they wasted an enormous amount of money on this man who inevitably went native living with decent people for all those years," she said. "They were then left with him having them down and with evidence showing that there was no crime in the first place."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... s-unlawful

Result!
 

ramonmercado

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Garland trial told of North Korea link
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 10276.html
Wed, Jul 20, 2011

The alleged offence of distributing forged US dollars was linked to the political hostility between North Korea and the US, the High Court was told yesterday.

Former IRA chief of staff Seán Garland (77), Beldonstown, Brownstown, Navan, Co Meath, is opposing his extradition to the US to face charges of distributing fake US dollars.


His counsel, Richard Humphreys SC, told Mr Justice John Edwards that to qualify for the political exception in extradition, the alleged offence needed only to be connected to a political offence.


The attempt by North Korea to undermine the currency of the US was clearly a political offence, as there was a near state of war between the two states since the 1940s. Mr Humphreys cited the case of Bourke vs Attorney General, in which the Supreme Court here had refused to extradite an Irishman who had assisted in the escape of an English spy, George Blake, from prison in England who then fled to Russia.


Sean Bourke was an "ordinary decent criminal" who sympathised with Blake and assisted him. In the opinion of the then chief justice, his offence fell short of a political offence, but it was connected to a political offence, that of Blake's for spying. The case continues today.
 

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Progressive academic Bob Lambert is former police spy

Lambert, an expert on Islamophobia, posed as environmental activist then ran police spy unit that infiltrated anti-racist groups

Rob Evans and Paul Lewis
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 16 October 2011 21.30 BST

Bob Lambert, right, posed as an activist with the environmental group Greenpeace London while working undercover as a police officer.

An academic and prominent supporter of progressive causes has been unmasked as a former spy who controlled a network of undercover police officers in political groups.

During his current career as an academic expert on Islamophobia, Bob Lambert has regularly spoken at political rallies to promote campaigns against racism and fascism.

However, in his previous career as a special branch officer, which lasted 26 years, he ran operations at a covert unit that placed police spies into political campaigns, including those run by anti-racism groups. The unit also disrupted the activities of these groups.

Lambert became head of the unit after going undercover himself.

Since becoming an academic three years ago, he has made no secret of the fact he was a special branch detective between 1980 and 2006, working on what he describes as "countering threats of terrorism and political violence in Britain".

However, he has kept quiet about his undercover work.

Lambert, who was involved in the secret unit for around 10 years, becomes the seventh police officer to be exposed as a police spy in the protest movement.

The disclosure comes before a major review of the use of such methods is published on Thursday. The report by Bernard Hogan-Howe, the new commissioner of the Metropolitan police, was commissioned by police chiefs after a series of revelations about Mark Kennedy, the officer who spent seven years embedded in the environmental movement.

Lambert was confronted about his past by a group he once infiltrated, while at a conference on Saturday. In one of many appearances on political platforms, he was a speaker at the conference, organised by Unite Against Fascism to promote anti-racism and multiculturalism. Last week he urged people to attend the conference to "show a united front against hatred and bigotry and celebrate the diversity of our multicultural communities".

Using the alias "Bob Robinson", Lambert posed as an activist in the group London Greenpeace between 1984 and 1988, say other members. The group, which had a libertarian philosophy, campaigned against nuclear power and weapons, as well as on other environmental issues, and says "Robinson" attended protests and meetings. It is understood that he also infiltrated animal rights protests.

On Saturday, members of the group pressed him to apologise for long-standing infiltration of political campaigns. He refused to comment, according to them.

At the time, he was acting as a member of a secretive police unit, the Special Demonstration Squad, which embedded undercover officers into groups it believed posed a threat to public order.

During the late 1990s, Lambert took charge of operations for the SDS, which penetrated both left and rightwing campaigns.

He was responsible for undercover police officers such as Pete Black, who spent four years pretending to be an anti-racism activist, and Jim Boyling, who was embedded in an environmental campaign against cars, Reclaim the Streets.

Between 2002 and 2007, Lambert ran the Muslim Contact Unit, a Scotland Yard department which sought to foster partnerships between police and Muslim community groups to prevent Islamist terrorist attacks.

In recent years Lambert has had a high public profile. A lecturer at Exeter and St Andrews universities, he has produced academic papers and articles for the media, including the Guardian and the New Statesman as he continued to argue that the government and police should work with Muslim groups to prevent terrorism.

However he has attracted virulent criticism from rightwing commentators who argue for a tougher approach. They believe it is counter-productive for the police to work in partnership with Muslim groups they claim are extremists.

London Greenpeace said it confronted Lambert to show "that recent police spies outed (such as Mark Kennedy) were not 'rogue officers' but part of an unacceptable pattern of immoral infiltration of environmental groups, condoned at a high level". Lambert could not be reached for comment yesterday.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/1 ... police-spy
 

Mal_Adjusted

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19 October 2011 Last updated at 18:13

Undercover detective accused of 'corrupting' trial
Jim Boyling, aka Jim Sutton "Jim Sutton" was a leading figure in the Reclaim the Streets movement

An undercover police officer has been accused of taking part in a criminal trial under an alias, calling into question the safety of a conviction.

A defence solicitor has told the BBC's Newsnight his firm unwittingly acted for Det Con Jim Boyling alongside other activists in legal proceedings.

The officer, who was engaged in covert surveillance of an environmental group, was arrested and charged in 1996.

The Metropolitan Police has so far declined to comment.

Det Con Boyling is said to have attended sensitive legal meetings and the final trial under his alias.

One of the other activists was convicted of public order offences at the 1997 trial, but the undercover officer was found not guilty.

Det Con Boyling worked in specialist operations at the Metropolitan Police, and was engaged in covert surveillance of the Reclaim The Streets environmental group using the alias Jim Sutton, when he was arrested and charged with other activists at a demonstration in London in August 1996.

Mike Schwarz of law firm Bindmans told Newsnight: "It's institutionalised police corruption of the legal process for this to happen."

He said the case "raises the most fundamental constitutional issues about the limits of acceptable policing, the sanctity of lawyer-client confidentiality and the integrity of the criminal justice system."
Continue reading the main story
Find out more

Watch Richard Watson's report on Newsnight on Wednesday 19 October 2011 at 22:30 on BBC Two

Catch up via iPlayer

The case came to light following a review of records at Bindmans legal firm prompted by the case of another undercover officer, Mark Kennedy, who spent seven years infiltrating a group of climate activists.

Mr Schwarz, who acted in cases linked to Mark Kennedy, found references to a 'Jim Sutton' in his files, indicating that he had acted for him as a defence lawyer.

Mr Schwarz said that the Metropolitan Police, who were employing the undercover officer, had "wildly overstepped all recognised boundaries" in the use of undercover police officers to penetrate environmental protest groups.

John Jordan, an activist arrested alongside Jim Sutton in 1996 who was subsequently convicted of assaulting a police officer told Newsnight:
Jim Sutton aka Jim Boyling While working undercover Jim Sutton married an activist with whom he had two children

"You go and meet your solicitor and... you think it's you and your solicitor. You don't think it could be you, your solicitor and a police officer under cover. Jim would have been privy to all the communications we had."

"It was totally outrageous... Someone was giving all the information you were saying privately to your lawyer to the prosecution," Mr Jordan said.

Det Con Jim Boyling was placed on restricted duties in January and investigated by the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards following allegations that he married an activist whom he was supposed to be spying on.

Richard Watson's report will be broadcast on Newsnight on Wednesday 19 October 2011 at 2230 on BBC Two, and then afterwards on the BBC iPlayer and Newsnight website.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15372037
 

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Longer article on this in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/1 ... jury-claim

It's an interesting one. I can see circumstances where it might be justified - undercover work investigating terrorists or organised crime - hard to see the use in these circumstances as even remotely proportionate though.
 

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Second undercover officer accused of misleading court

Bob Lambert, who ran a network of police spies in the protest movement, suspected of having been prosecuted under his alias

Rob Evans and Paul Lewis
guardian.co.uk, Friday 21 October 2011 21.02 BST

Second undercover officer accused of misleading court
In the 1980s Bob Lambert spent years living under a false identity as he investigated green and animal rights activists. Photograph: guardian.co.uk

Scotland Yard says it is reviewing the case of a second undercover police officer who stands accused of using a false identity in a criminal trial after being sent to infiltrate protest groups.

Bob Lambert, who ran a network of police spies in the protest movement after living deep undercover himself, is suspected of having been prosecuted for distributing animal rights leaflets under his alias.

The Metropolitan police have referred the case of the first officer, Jim Boyling, to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, three days after the Guardian and BBC Newsnight revealed evidence he lied under oath about his real identity. In a statement on Friday night, the Met said: "The referral relates to allegations that he gave evidence using a pseudonym and attended meetings with defence lawyers."

But the Met has also said it is "reviewing similar allegations about a retired officer, with a view to referring it to the IPCC".

The Guardian told the Met on Thursday it had obtained a letter, written by Lambert, in which he tells another activist he has been "backwards and forwards to Camberwell Green magistrates court for distributing 'insulting leaflets' outside a butchers shop".

Asked if this meant he had been prosecuted under his false identity, and therefore misled the court, Lambert declined to comment.

Lambert spent years living under a false identity with animal rights and environmental activists in the mid-1980s, before being promoted to a position in which he controlled a network of spies.

Among his team was Boyling, who pretended for years to be an environmental activist and was accused this week of giving false evidence under oath and concealing his real identity in court. It is alleged that he had been given permission to deceive the courts by senior officers.

The revelation threw a major inquiry into undercover policing of protest groups into disarray on Wednesday, when the publication of a report on the controversy was hurriedly cancelled.

The review, conducted by Bernard Hogan-Howe in his role at Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) before he became commissioner of the Met, was expected to rule out calls for a more robust system of oversight. It is now being reconsidered.

Police chiefs have been accused of authorising undercover officers to hide their real identities when they were being prosecuted over offences arising out of their undercover roles. It is alleged that being prosecuted was "part of their cover" as it helped to boost their credibility among the campaigners they had infiltrated.

The controversy surrounding undercover policing, which began with revelations about a third officer, Mark Kennedy, who lived for seven years with environmental activists, has resulted in nine separate judicial and disciplinary inquiries.

Hogan-Howe will be asked on Thursday to conduct an audit of all the Met's undercover policing operations to discover whether officers "lied in court". The question, tabled by Jenny Jones, a Green member of the London assembly who sits on the Metropolitan police authority, is one of a number of issues expected to be raised with the commissioner. Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said he would be calling on the head of HMIC, Sir Denis O'Connor, to give evidence to parliament.

"I am very concerned by allegations that undercover officers have been authorised to give false evidence to courts," Vaz said. "The activities of police officers, whether undercover or on the beat, must be regulated and be held to account."

Lambert assumed the fake persona of "Bob Robinson" to penetrate animal rights and green campaigns for four years in the 1980s. The letter, written by Lambert in January 1986, has come to light since he was unmasked after being confronted last Saturday by one of the groups he had infiltrated. He had sent it to Martyn Lowe, an activist with an environmental group known as London Greenpeace. Lowe said Lambert had been trying to persuade him to get involved in the environmental group again, and was passing on his news.

He said that by telling him about his court appearances, Lambert "must have been hoping to bolster his image as an activist. It was not a surprise".

He added that Lambert cultivated the idea that he was involved in militant, possibly illegal, protests.

"Bob gave off the impression he was doing a lot of direct action but one could never put one's finger on it. He never talked about it directly." At the time, animal rights activists were targeting butchers.

Lambert had gone undercover as part of covert police unit known as the special demonstration squad, which monitored and disrupted political groups that it believed caused public disorder.

Asked if he had authorised Boyling to conceal his real identity from the court, Lambert declined to comment.

In the latter part of his 26 years as a special branch detective, Lambert set up a Scotland Yard unit to improve relations between police and Muslim community groups to stop Islamist terrorist attacks. In recent years, he has become an academic and spoken out against Islamophobia.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/undercover ... ding-court
 

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Undercover policeman admits spying on Danish activists

Mark Kennedy says he infiltrated community centre, obtaining intelligence that helped police storm it and close it down

Rob Evans and Paul Lewis
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 13 November 2011 16.16 GMT

The controversy over the undercover policeman Mark Kennedy has deepened after he admitted spying on and disrupting the work of activists in another European country.

Kennedy has admitted that he infiltrated a Danish community centre that had housed progressive causes for more than a century, obtaining intelligence that helped police to storm it and close it down in violent raids.

He told a Channel Four documentary, to be broadcast on Monday, that he was used by police all over Europe to gather intelligence on activists.

The documentary describes him as the "go-to cop for foreign governments who needed information about their own activists".

Kennedy said he was "under huge pressure to gather all this intelligence and feed it back" after European governments asked for his help.

Details of his deployment in Germany, Iceland, and Ireland have previously been revealed, leading to criticism that British police were interfering in the democratic affairs of other countries.

Kennedy said he went to 22 countries in total during his seven years under cover, pretending to be an environmental activist. The list also includes Spain, Poland, France, and Belgium.

His unmasking has led to the launch of 12 inquiries this year into a network of police spies that has operated in political movements over the past four decades. The inquiries are examining allegations ranging from alleged lying in court to the use of sexual relationships as a way of gathering information about campaigners.

Kennedy transformed himself from an ordinary policeman into a long-haired, tattooed protester who, operating under the fake identity of Mark Stone, spied on environmental, leftwing and anti-fascist groups from 2003.

He become trusted by other campaigners and soon started to become active in European protests. He said he was "getting sent all over the place" after the National Police Order Intelligence Unit, the secretive body he worked for, agreed to loan him out to police forces around Europe.

Police forces have secretive agreements to exchange undercover police officers across their borders.

Kennedy told the documentary-makers that he helped to close down the popular Copenhagen Youth House community centre. Since the late 1890s, the four-storey red brick building had been the base for a variety of trade unions, women's groups, anarchists, anti-capitalist activists and musicians, and was visited by Lenin in 1910.

But it became the focus of huge controversy after the city council sold it to a rightwing Christian group and needed to evict the tenants. More than 650 people were arrested during three nights of clashes in 2007.

Kennedy said: "In Copenhagen, I got into a house full of squatters and gave the intelligence which allowed the police to storm the place."

While undercover, he was hired by German police to infiltrate activists between 2004 and 2009, and reportedly committed two crimes including arson. The cases against him were dropped at the urging of the German authorities, who knew his real identity.

Kennedy – who was paid to tell his story in the Channel 4 documentary – said he had no job after leaving the Metropolitan police, nor the prospect of any work. He said: "How can I expect people ever to trust me again?".

He said his life "is a pretty big negative" as he has left his wife and children and separated from his girlfriend, who was an environmental activist and who helped to unmask him.

Five of the seven undercover police officers in the protest movement who have been exposed so far have admitted having or have been alleged to have had sexual relationships with activists they were keeping under surveillance, despite claims by senior police officers that this was banned.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... -activists
 

ramonmercado

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Not sure if State can appeal to Supreme Court.



Court rejects Garland extradition bid
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/bre ... ing25.html
Wed, Dec 21, 2011

The High Court has dismissed an application to extradite former Worker’s Party president Sean Garland to the United States for his alleged involvement in a sophisticated counterfeiting operation.

Authorities in America had sought the extradition of Mr Garland (76), of Beldonstown, Brownstown, Navan, Co Meath, to face charges relating to the production of high-quality counterfeit US dollars.

The operation was allegedly carried out with the collusion of the government of North Korea.

In a brief hearing this morning, Mr Justice John Edwards said that the court was not disposed to grant the application and will furnish its reasons for doing so on January 13th next.

A spokesman for Mr Garland said he was extremely relieved and delighted with today’s ruling.
 

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Lengthier report.

High Court refuses US bid for Garland extradition
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 81379.html
CONOR LALLY, Crime Correspondent

Thu, Dec 22, 2011

THE HIGH Court has rejected an application by the US authorities to extradite veteran republican Seán Garland for his alleged role in an international counterfeiting conspiracy aimed at destabilising the US dollar.

The Americans contended that the plan by Mr Garland and co-conspirators to distribute counterfeit $100 notes internationally was done in conjunction with the regime in North Korea.

Mr Garland is a former chief-of-staff of the Official IRA and later president of the Workers’ Party.

A statement from the Workers’ Party said while yesterday’s High Court ruling was a relief to the 77-year-old, it believed if he ever visited another jurisdiction the Americans would try again in their extradition bid.

Rev Chris Hudson MBE, chairman of the “Stop the Extradition of Seán Garland Campaign”, expressed delight at the judgement. “This has been a horrendous six-year ordeal for Seán, his family and friends, and I am delighted with the progress we have made today.

“I have always believed that the US extradition demand was a vindictive act by the former Bush administration designed to punish and isolate North Korea and anyone who had connections with that country.”

The campaign “greatly appreciated” the support of many in the trade union movement including Jack O’Connor of Siptu, Jimmy Kelly, the regional secretary of Unite, and Eamon Devoy, TEEU general secretary.

Mr Hudson added: “We must now redouble our efforts to have this extradition warrant withdrawn completely by the United States to allow Seán Garland and his family the right to travel at will outside of Ireland without fear of arrest and detention.”

In a brief hearing yesterday morning, Mr Justice John Edwards said the High Court was not disposed to grant the extradition application and would furnish its reasons on January 13th next.

A High Court hearing in Dublin in July was told Mr Garland handed over almost a quarter of a million fake US dollars in Russian hotels in an international plot to spread the “super notes” across Europe.

Mr Garland, of Beldonstown, Brownstown, Navan, Co Meath, opposed his extradition to the US to face charges of distributing fake US dollars.

In an affidavit to the court in July, Brenda Johnson, assistant US attorney, said: “This case involved a long-standing and large-scale super notes distribution network based in the Republic of Ireland and headed by Seán Garland, a senior officer in the Irish Workers’ Party.”

Ms Johnson claimed one of Mr Garland’s alleged co-conspirators, Hugh Todd, later told investigators he purchased more than $250,000 of “super notes” from “the Garland organisation”.

According to indictment documents filed before a grand jury in the US and revealed in 2005, Mr Garland conspired with six others to smuggle and circulate dollars forged in North Korea.

The Americans contended the forgery and distribution of the $100 notes was part of a Marxist bid to destabilise the dollar. The allegations against Mr Garland related mostly to 1999 and 2000.
 

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Well played ramonmercado, your diligence on this story is appreciated. The Workers Party had a particularly shady role during the troubles I'm still amazed that he wasn't extradited, mind you I don't think he'll be visiting the US anytime soon, I am reminded a little of Whitey Bulger, another aged miscreant.
 

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Thanks. I'll pursue it to the end!

Can't find it online but there was an article in the Irish daily Mirror on 31 Dec 11 in which Garland expressed support for all of the Kims and the NK Peoples Struggle!

There was a time when Garland was trying to turn the official Republican Movement into a real revolutionary party but then he went to Moscow (1974). When he returned he switched sides to the Stalinist wing.
 

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Undercover police had children with activists

Disclosure likely to intensify controversy over long-running police operation to infiltrate and sabotage protest groups

Rob Evans and Paul Lewis
guardian.co.uk, Friday 20 January 2012 20.15 GMT

Bob Lambert, believed to be holding the son he fathered while working as an undercover policeman

Bob Lambert (far left), with his child. The undercover police officer had a relationship with a woman who is now taking action against the police

Two undercover police officers secretly fathered children with political campaigners they had been sent to spy on and later disappeared completely from the lives of their offspring, the Guardian can reveal.

In both cases, the children have grown up not knowing that their biological fathers – whom they have not seen in decades – were police officers who had adopted fake identities to infiltrate activist groups. Both men have concealed their true identities from the children's mothers for many years.

One of the spies was Bob Lambert, who has already admitted that he tricked a second woman into having a long-term relationship with him, as part of an intricate attempt to bolster his credibility as a committed campaigner.

The second police spy followed the progress of his child and the child's mother by reading confidential police reports which tracked the mother's political activities and life.

The disclosures are likely to intensify the controversy over the long-running police operation to infiltrate and sabotage protest groups.

Police chiefs claim that undercover officers are strictly forbidden from having sexual relationships with the activists they are spying on, describing the situations as "grossly unprofessional" and "morally wrong".

But that claim has been undermined as many of the officers who have been unmasked have admitted to, or have been accused of, having sex with the targets of their surveillance.

Last month eight women who say they were duped into forming long-term intimate relationships of up to nine years with five undercover policemen started unprecedented legal action. They say they have suffered immense emotional trauma and pain over the relationships, which spanned the period from 1987 to 2010.

Until now it was not known that police had secretly fathered children while living undercover. One of them is Lambert, who adopted a fake persona to infiltrate animal rights and environmental groups in the 1980s.

After he was unmasked in October, he admitted that as "Bob Robinson" he had conned an innocent woman into having an 18-month relationship with him, apparently so that he could convince activists he was a real person. She is one of the women taking the legal action against police chiefs.

Now the Guardian can reveal that in the mid-1980s, just a year into his deployment, Lambert fathered a boy with another woman, who was one of the activists he had been sent to spy on.

The son lived with his mother during the early years of his life as his parents' relationship did not last long. During that time, Lambert was in regular contact with the infant, fitting visits to him around his clandestine duties.

After two years, the mother married another man and both of them took responsibility for raising the child. Lambert says the woman was keen that he give up his legal right to maintaining contact with his son and cut him out of her new life. He says the agreement was reached amicably and he has not seen or heard of the mother or their son since then.

Lambert did not tell her or the child that he was a police spy as he needed to conceal his real identity from the political activists he was spying on. The Guardian is not naming the woman or the child to protect their privacy.

Lambert was married during his secret mission, which continued until 1988.

The highly secretive operation to monitor and disrupt political activists, which has been running for four decades, has come under mounting scrutiny since last year following revelations over the activities of Mark Kennedy, the undercover police officer who went rogue after burying himself deep in the environmental movement for seven years.

Police chiefs and prosecutors have set up 12 inquiries over the past year to examine allegations of misconduct involving police spies, but all of them have been held behind closed doors. There have been continuing calls, including from the former director of public prosecutions Ken Macdonald, for a proper public inquiry.

The second case involves an undercover policeman who was sent to spy on activists some years ago. He had a short-lived relationship with a political activist which produced a child.

He concealed his real identity from the activist and child as he was under strict orders to keep secret his undercover work from her and the other activists in the group he infiltrated. He then disappeared, apparently after his superiors ended his deployment. Afterwards, she remained under surveillance as she continued to be politically active, while he carried on with his police career.

The Guardian understands that as he had access to the official monitoring reports, he regularly read details of her life with a close interest. He watched as she grew older and brought up their child as a single parent, according to an individual who is aware of the details of the case.

The policeman has been "haunted" by the experience of having no contact with the child, whom he thought about regularly, according to the individual.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jan/2 ... -activists
 

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So that's what they mean when they describe a spy as a 'deep penetration agent'....
 

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Should be more on this later.

High Court refers Sean Garland case to DPP
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0127/garlands.html
Updated: 13:19, Friday, 27 January 2012

Court refused to extradite Sean Garland to the US

The High Court is to refer the case of Sean Garland to the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider whether the 76-year-old is to be prosecuted in Ireland.
On Wednesday, the court refused to extradite Mr Garland to the US to face charges in connection with a counterfeiting operation.
US authorities allege that the former Workers' Party president was involved in the production of high-quality counterfeit US dollars, carried out in collusion with the government of North Korea.

Mr Justice John Edwards decided that the offence for which the US wanted to extradite Mr Garland is regarded as having been committed in Ireland and therefore the court is prohibited from extraditing the 76-year-old.
Mr Justice Edwards published his findings today.

Vid
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0127/garlands.html#video
 

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Extradition application refused but judge refers case to DPP
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 69569.html

CAROL COULTER, Legal Affairs Editor

Sat, Jan 28, 2012

GARLAND JUDGMENT: THE DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions should consider whether to prosecute Seán Garland for his alleged involvement in the distribution of counterfeit US dollars, the High Court has ruled.

Giving his reasons for refusing to extradite Mr Garland to the US to face trial there, Mr Justice John Edwards said that the alleged offence would have been harmful, either directly or indirectly, to the interests of the State and the Irish courts should be entitled to assert jurisdiction over the alleged conspiracy. He referred the matter to the DPP.

However, a prosecution of the 77-year-old, who suffers from cancer, diabetes and a heart condition, will require an investigation and the preparation of a file by the Garda into the events at the heart of the extradition application.

Such an investigation has not so far been carried out in this jurisdiction.

In an affidavit to the High Court supporting the extradition application, assistant US attorney Brenda Johnson said the US authorities discovered counterfeit $100 bills, known as supernotes, were in circulation from the late 1980s until at least July 2000. They originated in North Korea, she said.

“This case involved a long-standing and large-scale supernotes distribution network (the Garland organisation) based in the Republic of Ireland and headed by Seán Garland, a senior officer in the Irish Workers’ Party,” she said.

Ms Johnson said one of Mr Garland’s alleged co-conspirators, Hugh Todd, later told investigators he purchased more than $250,000 in supernotes from “the Garland organisation” which were redistributed through currency exchanges across Europe.

He maintained that he first met the Irishman in the Radisson Hotel, Moscow, in April 1998, where Mr Garland emptied a leather bag packed with approximately $80,000 of counterfeit notes on to a bed for $30,000 dollars in genuine notes.

Two months later, the pair met in the Savoy Hotel in Moscow, where between $160,000 and $180,000 of counterfeit US currency was handed over, it is claimed.

Records with Scandinavian Airlines prove Mr Garland was in Russia on both occasions, she added.

Ms Johnson’s affidavit states Mr Garland knew the notes were counterfeit, that he travelled circuitous routes and met with conspirators to discuss the supernotes operation and engage in transactions.

“Some members who were apprehended in possession of or passing notes have admitted that Mr Garland was the source and leader of an illegal supernote distribution organisation and that [Christopher] Corcoran was his direct contact, communicator and negotiator,” she said. “Their statements are substantiated by documentary evidence, physical and electronic surveillance and other witness accounts.”

In 2002, David Levin of Birmingham and London, Terry Silcock and Mark Adderley, both from Birmingham, were jailed for nine, six and four years respectively for what police said was the largest counterfeit dollar operation seen in Britain. Silcock alone handled $4.2 million in counterfeit money, the court heard, and the entire operation was worth $29 million.

Mr Garland, of Beldonstown, Brownstown, Navan, Co Meath, was an IRA leader in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was a key figure in securing the official IRA ceasefire of May 1972.

He was initially arrested by the Police Service of Northern Ireland on foot of an extradition warrant by the US authorities in October 2005 at the Workers’ Party annual conference in Belfast. He fled to the Republic when released on bail.

He was later arrested outside the Workers’ Party offices in Dublin in January 2009 and released on strict bail conditions, which included surrendering the title deeds to his family home. Yesterday these conditions were discharged.

Opposing the extradition, Dr Michael Forde SC had argued during the case that his client had been accused of a complex, sophisticated transnational conspiracy, but that the charge fell under Ireland’s forgery or money-laundering laws. “The rationale is very simple,” said Dr Forde. “If the offence was committed against Irish law, and a substantial part committed in the State, then the State should prosecute.”

Mr Justice Edwards said that Mr Garland, who is Irish, was living in Ireland at all material times, and was alleged to have been a leading party in the conspiracy. As far as the objective of making money was concerned, it was alleged he was doing so for the Official IRA, a proscribed organisation.

“It would be wrong to conclude that acts as were allegedly committed here were, in the circumstances of the particular case, merely incidental to a conspiracy, the principal or main object of which was to commit a crime or crimes abroad,” he said.
 

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Ex-republican leader who never wavered in protesting innocence
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 69553.html

MARIE O'HALLORAN

Sat, Jan 28, 2012

THE FORMER Workers’ Party president has always protested his innocence and his lawyers said the allegations had been in the public domain for years.

The 77-year-old Dubliner was a republican leader of the 1960s and 1970s. Mr Garland joined the IRA in 1953, aged 19, and was involved in the 1950s Border campaign, also spending time as a training officer.

He was imprisoned in 1957 in Mountjoy and in November that year, while still in prison, stood in the Dublin North Central byelection for Sinn Féin. He was then interned in the Curragh, but released in 1959. Mr Garland was subsequently jailed for four years in Crumlin Road prison in Belfast.

After the IRA split in 1969 he joined the official wing, becoming a prominent figure in Official Sinn Féin who supported the move to end abstentionism and helped deliver an Official IRA ceasefire in 1972.

In 1975 he was injured in an INLA attack but was later a key mover in changing the party’s name to Sinn Féin the Workers’ Party and finally the Workers’ Party. He became general secretary of each and later treasurer.

But in a bitter split in the party he sided with the late Tomás MacGiolla against Proinsias De Rossa, who left with a substantial majority of the membership to form Democratic Left in 1982.

During his career with the Workers’ Party he travelled to North Korea and Moscow on a number of occasions and unsuccessfully sought funding from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He became party president in 2000 and campaigned against the Nice treaty in the EU and was active on issues such as opposition to the Iraq war.
 

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View Garland should be tried in Ireland at heart of ruling
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 69537.html

CAROL COULTER, Legal Affairs Editor

Sat, Jan 28, 2012

ANALYSIS: WHILE MANY arguments were put forward why former Workers’ Party president Seán Garland should not be extradited to the US, the High Court only considered one – that he should be prosecuted in Ireland instead.

The conclusion of the High Court reflects Mr Justice John Edwards’s view that in this age of modern communications, where much serious fraud is transnational, the common law must evolve to reflect the need to be able to prosecute in the jurisdiction where a substantial portion of the crime is committed.

This could be necessary to defeat a procedural argument, for example, that because the money at the centre of fraud allegations ended up in a bank account abroad, that is where the alleged offence occurred and it should not be prosecuted where some or all the deception took place.

Counsel for Garland had argued his extradition was prohibited under section 15 of the 1965 Extradition Act, which states: “Extradition shall not be granted where the offence for which it is requested is regarded under the law of the State as having been committed in the State.”

Mr Justice Edwards found that Garland lived in Ireland while the alleged conspiracy was being conducted, many of the alleged transactions took place in Ireland, non-Irish alleged co-conspirators travelled to Ireland, and one of the alleged objectives of the conspiracy was to make money for the Official IRA, a proscribed organisation in Ireland.

Therefore the alleged offence for which extradition was sought was committed in Ireland and would be prosecutable here.

The US authorities had argued the conspiracy was against the integrity of its currency, which was not disputed. This illustrates the fact that crimes involving currency, and financial transactions in general, are increasingly transnational. A deception can take place in one country with the funds withdrawn in another. In his judgment Mr Justice Edwards drew heavily on English judgments that are grappling with this new reality. “Questions of jurisdiction, although involving substantive law, contain a strong procedural element and the court must recognise the need to adopt its approach to such questions in the light of developing and advancing communications technology,” he said.

“The Irish courts should, as a matter of good sense in the times in which we live, be entitled to assert jurisdiction in respect of a conspiracy formed in Ireland to effect harm by means of an unlawful act or acts to be committed principally in, or against, another state, where it can be reasonably asserted that the conspiracy, if carried into effect, would be harmful, or potentially harmful, either directly or indirectly, to the interests of this State,” he said.

In opposing the extradition, Seán Garland’s counsel, Michael Forde SC, argued that his fundamental rights would be violated in that he would be imprisoned with little prospect of bail, exposed to a harsh prison regime and treated as an enemy alien; that the alleged offences were political offences arising from the partition of Korea and its consequences, and therefore not extraditable; that the relevant article of the extradition treaty was void, in that it did not require the establishment of a prima facie case against the accused; and that he had been prejudiced by excessive delay. In the event the judge did not rule on these arguments, which now remain to be considered another day.
 

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I reckon this is significant enough to deserve a thread of its own. I really don't wish to see it drowned out by the antics of drunken loyalist bandsmen. Three dodgy sergeants in one station but not enough evidence to pin it on any of them even on the balance of probabilities.

The full report may be accessed here: http://opac.oireachtas.ie/AWData/Librar ... 171046.pdf

Key findings

Collusion: Peter Smithwick said that while there had been no "smoking gun" he was "satisfied" that there had been collusion by one or more Garda officers in the murders

Former garda sergeant Owen Corrigan: "I also find that what may have started out as a professional relationship with subversives for the legitimate purpose of intelligence-gathering ultimately developed into a relationship of an inappropriate nature"

Earlier investigations: O'Dea and Camon investigations were "inadequate"

Missed opportunity: "The best opportunity of establishing the truth of the matter arose in the days and weeks following the ambush. In these circumstances, it is particularly regrettable that both police services acted swiftly to dismiss speculation of the possibility of collusion rather than to deal with that by means of a through and credible investigation"

Culture: "The culture of failing adequately to address suggestions of wrongdoing, either for reasons of expediency or by virtue of misguided loyalty, has been a feature of life in this state"


Timeline of events

20 March 1989: RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan are murdered in an IRA ambush in south Armagh on their way home from a meeting at Dundalk Garda station.

November 1999: Journalist Toby Harnden alleges in his book Bandit Country there was collusion between the IRA and Garda X and Garda Y in Dundalk

13 April 2000: MP Jeffrey Donaldson uses parliamentary privilege in the Commons to allege Garda X is former Dundalk garda Owen Corrigan

October 2003: Retired Canadian judge Peter Cory recommends setting up of a tribunal of inquiry into the Breen and Buchanan collusion claims

May 2005: Tribunal established by the Irish government to be chaired by judge Peter Smithwick

March 2006: Private investigation phase begins

7 June 2011: Public hearings begin in Dublin



Smithwick: Collusion in Bob Buchanan and Harry Breen murders
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25199800

Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan were shot dead in an ambush in south Armagh, as Vincent Kearney reports

Irish police officers colluded in the IRA murders of two senior Northern Ireland policemen, an inquiry has found.

Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan were shot dead in an ambush in March 1989 in south Armagh.

The attack happened as they crossed the border into Northern Ireland after a meeting in Dundalk Garda station.

In the report of his inquiry, judge Peter Smithwick said he was "satisfied there was collusion in the murders".

Judge Smithwick said the circumstances suggested information was leaked to trigger the IRA operation, and the timing suggested it was "more likely that the information came from Dundalk Garda station".

He said the two policemen had arrived at the station no earlier than 2.20pm, and ten minutes later, the IRA had placed gunmen on the road where they were killed.

"This was as a direct result of confirmation having been received that the officers had arrived at Dundalk," he said.

He added: "Either the IRA did have an extraordinary piece of good fortune, or Harry Breen was the target of this operation. I believe that the evidence points to the latter conclusion.

"I also think that this makes it significantly more likely that the Provisional IRA knew that Chief Superintendent Breen was coming, and were not simply waiting on the off-chance that he might turn up."

The judge said he believed Harry Breen was the IRA's target, as after the killing of eight IRA men and a civilian in Loughgall, County Armagh, by undercover soldiers in 1987, he had been pictured with weapons recovered by police.

'Political expediency'
"There was, in the wake of the murder, triumphalism in relation to the fact that the Provisional IRA had killed the officer who had appeared in that photograph 'etched in every republican's mind'," he wrote.

Murder Scene
The men were targeted on their way back from a meeting at Dundalk Garda Station
He found that the IRA needed positive identification that Mr Breen in particular had arrived at the police station in Dundalk, and this positive confirmation would likely be from a member of the Garda.

'No smoking gun'
"Given that I am satisfied that the evidence points to the fact that there was someone within the Garda station assisting the IRA, it also seems to me to be likely that the Provisional IRA would seek to exploit that resource by having that individual or individuals confirm the arrival of the two officers," he said.

The report is also critical of two earlier garda investigations into the murders, which it describes as "inadequate".

The judge said it was "highly regrettable" that the most senior police officers on both sides of the border dismissed speculation of a mole in the immediate aftermath of the killings. He said this was "political expediency" at the expense of the victims.

He said the culture of failing to adequately address suggestions of wrongdoing, either for reasons of political expediency or by virtue of misguided loyalty, has been a feature of life in this state.

He concluded that "too often that culture has resulted, some years later, after doubts, grievances and injustices have festered, in the setting up of investigations, commissions or tribunals of inquiry".

He said he hoped his report would contribute in "one small part to changing that culture".

Judge Smithwick said there was "no smoking gun" and it was not surprising that the tribunal had not uncovered direct evidence of collusion.

Bob Buchanan's son, William, said: "The findings of Judge Smithwick are both incredible and shocking, and confirm the existence of a mole in Dundalk station - this led to my father's death."

Continue reading the main story
Smithwick definition of collusion

Judge Peter Smithwick
"While (collusion) generally means the commission of an act, I am also of the view that it should be considered in terms of an omission or failure to act.

"In the active sense, collusion has amongst its meanings to conspire, connive or collaborate.

"In addition I intend to examine whether anybody deliberately ignored a matter, or turned a blind eye to it, or to have pretended ignorance or unawareness of something one ought morally, legally or officially oppose."

A solicitor speaking on behalf of Chief Supt Breen's family said the report was "a truly remarkable exposé and indictment of wrongdoing and collusion with terrorists by some within An Garda Siochána".

The family said the report detailed in the most stark and dramatic fashion the failure by state systems to address these matters year upon year.

Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter apologised "without reservation" for the failings identified in the report.

"Even with the passage of 24 years and the positive developments which have taken place on the island since, our condemnation of their murder should be as strong today as it was then," he said.

Mr Shatter said nothing in the report should detract from the good work of An Garda Siochána during the Troubles.

His counterpart in Northern Ireland, David Ford, said the suggestion of garda collusion was "no different from the suggestions in the past of one or two RUC officers behaving inappropriately".

"The important issue is that fundamentally the two organisations are good police services, they now work together in a extremely good way," he added.


William Buchanan called the findings 'incredible and shocking'
The publication of the report on Tuesday follows almost eight years of painstaking investigations.

The Dublin-based tribunal was established by the Irish government in May 2005 and began its private investigation phase 10 months later.

Public sessions began in June 2011, hearing from hundreds of witnesses including police from both sides of the Irish border, IRA members, undercover agents and politicians.

It had been recommended by retired Canadian judge Peter Cory, as part of his report on several controversial killings presented to the British and Irish governments in 2003.
[/b]
 

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Smithwick report: Lady Sylvia Hermon rejects criticism of husband
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-25282725

Ch Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan

Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan were murdered by the IRA in 1989

The wife of a former NI chief constable has hit back at criticism of him in the wake of the Smithwick report.

Ch Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan were shot dead by the IRA in south Armagh in March 1989.

The then RUC Chief Constable Sir John Hermon, and his counterpart south of the border, discounted the possibility of a mole within Irish police.

However, this week the inquiry concluded there had been collusion between the IRA and Irish police.

On Saturday, Sir John's wife, Lady Hermon, the MP for North Down, said she remembered how "upset and deeply angry" her husband had been at the time of the killings.

She said in a statement that he had been "intensely loyal" to all his police officers.

Lady Hermon said if her husband "had had a shred of real evidence of collusion between the Garda and IRA, he would have said so and acted on it immediately".

"However, there wasn't that evidence of collusion in March 1989, and I find it highly offensive to hear him stand accused, five years after his death, of having somehow failed to investigate properly the murders of Superintendent Buchanan and Chief Superintendent Breen.

"My husband would never have done that."

Sir John Hermon had discounted the possibility of a mole within Irish police
Sir John Hermon had discounted the possibility of a mole within Irish police
The attack happened as the two police officers crossed the border into Northern Ireland after a meeting in Dundalk Garda station.

Judge Peter Smithwick said the circumstances suggested information was leaked to trigger the IRA operation, and the timing suggested it was "more likely that the information came from Dundalk Garda station".

At the time, Sir John Hermon said: "There was no mole and we would ask that this be discounted very firmly and very quickly."

His counterpart in the Republic of Ireland, the then (Irish police) Garda Commissioner Eugene Crowley, said: "I absolutely and positively reject any suggestion of that kind."

The publication of the Smith report on Tuesday followed almost eight years of painstaking investigations.

The Dublin-based tribunal was established by the Irish government in May 2005 and began its private investigation phase 10 months later.

Judge Peter Smithwick said he was "satisfied there was collusion in the murders".
 

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Journalist ‘absolutely vindicated’ by Smithwick findings
Toby Harnden alleges ‘10-year conspiracy of silence’ on quashed rumours of Garda collusion
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/ ... -1.1620952

Speaking in Washington, British journalist Toby Harnden has said suspicions of collusion had been “completely dormant” until he “laid it all out there” using Garda and RUC sources and British army and RUC documents.
Speaking in Washington, British journalist Toby Harnden has said suspicions of collusion had been “completely dormant” until he “laid it all out there” using Garda and RUC sources and British army and RUC documents.

Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 14:34

The British journalist whose 1999 book led to the establishment of the Smithwick Tribunal said that he feels “absolutely” vindicated by the tribunal’s findings that someone in Dundalk Garda station colluded with the IRA in the killing of two RUC officers in 1989.

Toby Harnden, now Washington bureau chief for The Sunday Times, said there was “a 10-year conspiracy of silence” as rumours of Garda collusion had been quashed “so emphatically” in the immediate aftermath of the killings of RUC Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan.

Harnden claimed in the book, Bandit Country: The IRA and South Armagh, that a leak from the Garda station in Dundalk led to the killings of the two RUC officers in an IRA ambush near Jonesborough, south Armagh as they returned from a meeting at the station.

Mr Justice Peter Smithwick’s report is unlikely to change anything fundamental. Photograph: Cyril ByrneThe world which both subversives and police inhabit is full of moral hazard

Road map for progress: Dr Richard Haass, with Harvard professor Meghan O’Sullivan, speaking to the media in Belfast. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA WireWhat Richard has to do

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Garda Commisoner Martin Callinan speaking about the report of the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/CollinsWe need to depoliticise our police force

Speaking in Washington, British journalist Toby Harnden has said suspicions of collusion had been “completely dormant” until he “laid it all out there” using Garda and RUC sources and British army and RUC documents.Journalist ‘absolutely vindicated’ by Smithwick findings
He wrote the book while working as Ireland Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph between 1996 and 1999, at which stage he was posted to the United States.

Speaking in Washington, Harnden said suspicions of collusion had been “completely dormant” until he “laid it all out there” using Garda and RUC sources and British army and RUC documents.

An eight-year inquiry, which cost €15 million and heard evidence from almost 200 witnesses, confirmed “some pretty compelling allegations of collusion” set out from his own journalistic resources, he said.
“There are many books that might not stand up to that kind of scrutiny, and Bandit Country did,” he said.

“The Smithwick Tribunal and its conclusions wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for Bandit Country. It is the only time in my career that my work has had that national and international impact.”

Smithwick said in the report that he was “extremely disappointed” that Harnden chose not to testify publicly. The journalist defended his decision. He said he met Smithwick privately in London and Washington.
“I was confident that me appearing would not have added anything substantive to the tribunal,” he said.

“There was some quite serious issues of protecting confidential sources and I just ultimately felt that the book should speak for itself.”
Harnden said he was “surprised by the level of surprise and outrage” that members of the Garda Síochána might have colluded with the IRA, given how the paramilitary group drew its support.

“I find it completely unsurprising that individuals in an Irish police force during the Troubles would have had republican sympathies towards the IRA and would have helped them out. I would have been surprised if that wasn’t the case,” he said.

Harnden admitted to being “obsessed” with the killings of Breen and Buchanan while he carried out research for the book, in which he looked back at 25 years of murders in the south Armagh and north Louth areas.
The timing of the RUC men’s meetings in Dundalk and the killings, and his understanding of how the IRA operated, led him to suspect that an IRA mole in the Garda, rather than an elaborate surveillance operation, was behind the killings. Interviews with other sources confirmed his suspicions, he said.

Harnden has visited Northern Ireland since he stopped working there in 1999 but he has not returned to south Armagh. He has said to himself that he would never go back, partly for security reasons. “It probably wouldn’t be a good place for me to hang out.”
 

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Conor Brady is a former Editor of the Irish Times and the Garda Review; he also wrote a history of An Garda Síochána. Here he examines the possibility that the IRA may have acted without Garda assistance. He also touches on the Garda culture of cover up. Full text at link.

The world which both subversives and police inhabit is full of moral hazard
Opinion: Evidence suggests IRA were well capable of gathering intelligence that led to killings without any help from anyone

Conor Brady

Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 00:01

“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on those who would harm us.”

George Orwell’s observation, as paraphrased by Richard Grenier, affords a contemporary frame of reference for Judge Peter Smithwick’s depiction of policing in and around Dundalk at the height of the Northern Troubles.
These were years when the State feared for its stability, perhaps even its existence. The security machine deployed to counter paramilitary violence included not a few “rough men”. They were sent in to confront ruthless and clever adversaries in conditions of physical danger and political ambiguity.

Unsurprisingly, the 1989 picture of cover-up and corruption described by Smithwick mirrors almost exactly the conditions revealed by the Morris tribunal in Donegal. Equally unsurprising is the unwillingness, described by Judge Smithwick, of the senior Garda hierarchy to rein in the “rough men”. They were getting the results required.

The Smithwick report does not tell us of the scores of IRA terrorists despatched to Portlaoise Prison through operations conducted at least in part by some of these “rough men”. We do not learn of their willingness, at times, to put themselves in harm’s way. His terms of reference did not allow any assessment of the numbers of lives that were undoubtedly saved by their actions.

The report paints a picture of laxity, indiscipline and illegality among a cohort of these gardaí. When their higher authorities found themselves obliged to investigate, the interventions were generally inadequate. Expediency won the day. Loyalty, in Judge Smithwick’s words, was prized above honesty.

Morally hazardous
The world inhabited by police and subversives is a murky one, characterised by short-term opportunism and long-term self-interest. It is morally hazardous. Deals are done. Information is traded. There will be money on offer. A sprat may be sacrificed to catch a mackerel. The history of the Garda Síochána recounts not a few instances in which officers fell to the wrong side of the line.

But it is a far step from this to participation in the murders of fellow police officers, albeit in a different jurisdiction. The report concludes that “the passing of information by a member of an Garda Síochána was the trigger” (23.2.5) for the ambush operation in which Chief Supt Breen and Supt Buchanan were murdered. This conclusion would appear to be built upon a structure of deduction rather than any hard evidence.

Judge Smithwick acknowledges the lack of any direct evidence. “There is no record of a phone call, no traceable payment, no smoking gun.” (23.1.2). And when he considers the possible involvement of the gardaí who were examined by the tribunal, he rules each of them out.

Of former Det Sgt Owen Corrigan, he says: “While there is some evidence that Mr Corrigan passed information to the Provisional IRA, I am not satisfied that the evidence is of sufficient substance and weight to establish that Mr Corrigan did in fact collude in the fatal shootings of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan.” (23.2.11).

We are left with the possibility that some unknown garda notified the IRA of the RUC officers’ visit. This requires one to conclude (as the judge does) that the IRA’s claim to have mounted the ambush on the basis of its own surveillance and intelligence is false. But notwithstanding Gerry Adams’s maladroit comments about the murdered officers’ approach to their security, it should be borne in mind that in recent years IRA statements about past operational matters have been generally accurate. ...
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-an ... -1.1619822
 

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The undercover cunstable saga rumbles on.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...hed-police-spy-mark-kennedy#start-of-comments


Drax protesters' convictions quashed over withheld evidence of police spy

Lord chief justice says there was a 'total failure' to disclose evidence gathered by undercover police officer Mark Kennedy

theguardian.com, Rob Evans. 21 January 2014


A group of environmental protesters have had their convictions overturned after senior judges ruled that crucial evidence gathered by an undercover police officer was withheld from their original trial.

The 29 protesters were convicted in 2009 after they blocked a train carrying coal from going into the Drax power station in North Yorkshire.

On Tuesday the lord chief justice, Lord Thomas, and two judges quashed their convictions after it was admitted that the involvement of Mark Kennedy, the undercover police officer who infiltrated environmental groups for seven years, had been hidden.

Thomas said there had been "a complete and total failure" to disclose evidence that would have been fundamental to the activists' defence. He said reasons for the failure remained unclear.

Earlier, Brian Altman QC, for the prosecution, told the court of appeal that the failure had been catastrophic, and it was unclear whether the fault lay with the police or prosecutors.

The verdict brings to 56 the number of protesters who have been wrongly convicted or prosecuted as a result of undercover police operations.

The appeal court heard that Kennedy attended a private meeting where the 29 campaigners formulated their protest. He hired a van and drove some of them to the protest.

The court was told that police had conceded after the original trial that Kennedy had been "the sole driver" for the protest, raising the possibility that the demonstration against climate change would not have gone ahead if he had not been involved.

Thomas ruled that Kennedy's role should have been disclosed to the activists as it would have enabled their lawyers to argue at the original trial that the spy had been an agent provocateur or that there had been an abuse of the legal process.

One of the acquitted campaigners, Robbie Gillett, said: "In our trial in 2009, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service deliberately withheld evidence from the jury. They're not interested in providing a fair trial to the political activists which they spy upon.

"This is political policing. It is an invasion of people's lives, a waste of public money and from the police's perspective, a legal failure."

Thomas said he was going to decide whether police or prosecutors should pay for costs of the wrongful prosecutions as he suggested those responsible for the misconduct should be required to pay.

Kennedy was unmasked by activists in 2010 after they became suspicious of his true identity.

His unmasking has led to a series of revelations in the Guardian over the controversial work of undercover officers who have been deployed to infiltrate political groups since 1968.

In another case, police and prosecutors withheld evidence of Kennedy's infiltration from 26 campaigners who planned to occupy Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in 2009. Twenty had their convictions quashed, and the prosecutions of another six were dropped.

On Tuesday, Altman described some of the covert work of the spy who had transformed his appearance and pretended to be a committed environmental activist using the alias Mark Stone.

He read extracts from the notebooks of the long-haired, tattooed spy recording how he had been approached by an activist to see if he would be prepared to drive some campaigners to a protest. A day later another campaigner told him that a group of activists were going to delay the train going into the Drax power station.

Kennedy, who cultivated his image as an activist with money to spare and earned himself the nicknamed Flash, used £250 of the state's cash on the hire of a van.

Early on 13 June 2008 he used the van to drive some of the activists to the protest and dropped them off. Within the van he was on the phone to his police handler reporting what the activists were doing.
Emphasis mine.

So basically, the convictions were quashed because the cops set the whole Drax demo up in the first place. Not only was PC Kennedy the main driver of the protest, he actually drove his victims there in a van hired using public money. Dropped them off and then tipped off his plod mates. Classy.
 

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Former senior police officers challenge Smithwick report
Shane Harrison
By Shane Harrison
BBC NI Dublin correspondent
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-25933355

Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan

Ch Supt Breen and Supt Buchanan were the most senior officers to be murdered in the Troubles

Three former Irish police officers have challenged the findings of an inquiry into alleged collusion with the IRA.

Judge Peter Smithwick found, on balance of probability, that an un-named officer of the Garda Síochána (Irish police) had tipped off the IRA when two senior Royal Ulster Constabulary officers left Dundalk garda station.

Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan were then ambushed and killed.

They were the most senior RUC members to be killed in the Troubles.

The murders took place in south Armagh in March 1989.

The three former senior garda officers, all of whom served in Dundalk at various stages in their careers, say the Smithwick finding is not based on fact and have called on the Irish government to reject the judge's conclusions as "a matter of urgency and justice".

Critique
A day after the Smithwick report was published the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, apologised to the families of the two RUC officers and said he "accepted" the findings but did not go as far as saying he agreed with the findings or believed them.

The three former gardai, retired Chief Supt John O'Brien, former Chief Supt Michael Staunton and retired Chief Supt Michael Finnegan, have written a 30-page critique that they have sent to, amongst others, the Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, and the justice minister, Alan Shatter.

Breen_&_Buchanan_murder_scene
Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan were murdered in south Armagh in March 1989
They suggest the finding of collusion "undermines the capacity of the state to actively pursue the many substantiated acts of collusion committed in the conflict".

They also say the findings impugn the good name of the Garda Siochana and the work it did in fighting paramilitarism.

After analysing the report "line by line" they criticise the Smithwick inquiry both for its conclusions and its methods.

Colluded
The three believe Judge Smithwick should have given greater weight to the statements of former IRA members that the killings resulted from a long-standing surveillance operation in which there was no garda involvement.

The IRA gave evidence to the inquiry but no member appeared in person to allow themselves to be cross-examined and challenged about their version of what happened.

The officers accuse Judge Smithwick of accepting information given in private by PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris that unidentified garda members had colluded in the murders.

Commissioner Callinan's senior counsel described that Drew Harris evidence to the tribunal as "nonsense on stilts".

Despite this clash the two police services say they are fully united in the cross-border battle against crime and dissident republicans.
 

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The article below is a commentary. The full text of the solicitors document is at:
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-an ... -1.1675519


Solicitor defends Smithwick report as ‘nuanced and fair’
Critique by former gardaí said to display keenness to accept IRA’s version
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-an ... -1.1675621

Chief Supt Harry Breen was murdered in 1989. Photograph: Pacemaker

Sat, Feb 1, 2014, 01:00

A solicitor for the family of an RUC officer whose murder was found by the Smithwick Tribunal to be linked to Garda collusion with the IRA has launched a strong defence of the inquiry’s findings.

Earlier this week, three former members of the Garda claimed in a lengthy critique that key tribunal findings were not grounded in fact and challenged its key finding of collusion.

But John McBurney, solicitor for the family of murdered RUC officer Harry Breen, says the gardaí’s critique is highly selective, filled with errors and displays a lack of familiarity with the inquiry’s findings.

Retired gardaí’s critique of Smithwick Tribunal report is highly selective
The solicitor’s response, published in today’s Irish Times, also claims the critique by former gardaí displays a lack of independence and a keenness to accept the IRA’s versions of events.

‘Comprehensive’
In addition, Mr McBurney staunchly defends the Smithwick Tribunal’s report as a “comprehensive, nuanced and fair document”.

The report of the seven-year inquiry published in December of last year found that the IRA was tipped off by at least one person inside Dundalk Garda station ahead of the 1989 murders of two senior RUC officers in Co Armagh.

The policemen – Chief Supt Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan – were the highest-ranking RUC officers to be killed in the 30-year conflict in the North.
They had been meeting with gardaí to discuss a joint crackdown on IRA smuggling on the morning of their deaths.

Mr McBurney says the willingness on the part of the three gardaí to believe IRA claims was in spite of “conclusive proof” that the paramilitary organisation had provided false and misleading information to the tribunal.
“As a lawyer, I find it surprising that three former police officers would argue that such primordial weight be attached to information which was not evidence – not provided in oral testimony under oath and tested by cross-examination – and summarily dismiss other compelling testimony tested in cross- examination,” he writes.

By contrast, the solicitor says the gardaí have paid “scant regard” to evidence by a British brigadier which undermined IRA assertions on when the operation had commenced. He also defends the Smithwick Tribunal report’s conclusions as a fair and painstaking assessment of all the evidence heard.

“After 198 witnesses and vast volumes of documentation, it is very easy for any individual to select the evidence (or, as is the case here, the information) which supports his or her point of view,” he writes.

“However, the task of a tribunal is painstakingly to assess and weigh all the evidence. In performing that task, Judge Smithwick, unlike the former gardaí who wrote this critique, two of whom were witnesses before the tribunal, has demonstrated his independence.”

Footsteps
He also says the three gardaí were not present for most of the hearings and could not claim to have “followed the same journey as the tribunal” or to have “walked in the footsteps of Smithwick”.

“They have no doubt walked in the footsteps of Chief Supt Breen and Supt Buchanan in the corridors of Dundalk Garda station on many occasions but they have certainly not walked in the footsteps of Judge Smithwick through the course of his painstaking and exhaustive inquiry into this most serious matter indeed,” Mr McBurney writes.

The critique was carried out by retired det chief supt John O’Brien, former chief supt Michael Finnegan and former chief supt Michael Staunton.
 

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Smithwick Tribunal 'should have had garda phone tapes'
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-26764093

Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan were returning from Dundalk Garda Station when they were shot dead

A tribunal that found Irish police colluded in the 1989 murders of two senior NI policemen should have been told police stations were recording phone calls, a solicitor has said.

The Smithwick Inquiry found there was Irish police collusion in the murders.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said he was concerned that revelations about phone recordings may have implications for both court cases and tribunals.

Solicitor John McBurney said details about calls would have been useful.

"Judge Smithwick, his legal team and administrative staff had been pressing for full disclosure of all possible records that could touch upon the issues he was looking at," said Mr McBurney, who represented the family of Ch Supt Harry Breen at the tribunal.

"He was trying find to basic things such as itemised phone bills and records of phone calls in and out of Dundalk Police Station, but wasn't even able to obtain those.

'Relevant material'
"This was at a time when the authorities seem to have at least 2,500 tape recordings of calls between stations, and if the divisional headquarters at Drogheda station was having its conversations taped with Dundalk, Monaghan and Dublin, those tapes would undoubtedly have been relevant to the tribunal - none of it was identified or produced.

"In November, the process seems to have stopped after perhaps 30 years - none of this was communicated to the tribunal or produced in evidence, and it stopped almost coincidentally when the report of Judge Smithwick came out."

Mr McBurney told BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme that while the contents of the tapes were not known, "if there is any material that would have been relevant it should have been produced to the tribunal".

The Irish government launched an investigation into the secret police recordings on Tuesday. Just hours earlier police commissioner Martin Callinan had resigned.

Mr Kenny confirmed on Thursday that the revelations had led to the first adjournment of a trial before the criminal courts.

Two men accused of IRA membership had their trial adjourned on Wednesday.

The Smithwick Tribunal was set up by the Irish government in 2005 to investigate claims that officers based in Dundalk station had assisted the IRA gang who ambushed the two officers on 20 March 1989.

Ch Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan were shot dead in an IRA ambush in March 1989 in south Armagh. The attack happened as they crossed the border into Northern Ireland after a meeting in Dundalk Garda (police) station.
 

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Smithwick solicitor concerned after Garda 'sent texts' to dissident suspect

A solicitor who represented one of the RUC families at the Smithwick Tribunal is concerned other potential cases of collusion may have occurred recently.

John McBurney made the comments after reports that a member of the Garda Siochana texted sensitive information to a paramilitary in Northern Ireland.

Mr Burney said it needs to be ascertained if other similar incidents had occurred.

The Evening Herald newspaper reported the alleged incident on Friday.

The paper claimed the communication happened sometime in the last year.

Mr McBurney represented the Breen family at the Smithwick Tribunal.

Ch Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan were shot dead in March 1989.

They were killed in an IRA ambush in south Armagh, as they crossed the border into Northern Ireland after a meeting in Dundalk police station.

The Smithwick Inquiry was set up by the Irish government in 2005 to investigate claims that officers based in Dundalk station had assisted the IRA gang who ambushed the two officers on 20 March 1989.

It found there was Irish police collusion in the murders.

The Evening Herald reported the communication contained details about two dissident suspects who were questioned at a Garda (Irish police) station in Leinster where the member of staff was believed to have worked.

It is understood the police officer passed the information about the two dissidents on to the IRA - all of which was spotted by MI5. ...

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-28994680
 
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