Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness said today a senior party delegation is meeting this evening with Lady Justice Hallett and her review team on the issue of ‘On the Runs’.
Martin McGuinness said:
“We will be taking this opportunity to set out unequivocally Sinn Féin’s record on the issue of ‘On the Runs’ and its wider context.
“The British and Irish governments recognised as far back as the Weston Park Agreement of 2001 in a joint communiqué from British Secretary of State John Reid and Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen that the issue of ‘On the Runs’ had to be addressed.
“At Weston Park the two governments committed to the development of a scheme which would resolve the issue of ‘On the Runs’. British Attorney General Dominic Grieve confirmed in February this year that the scheme, which operated from 2001, was a lawful process.
“Despite claims to the contrary, neither this process, nor the agreements on which it was based, were secret or hidden.
“It has been our consistent view that the ‘On the Runs’ are only one part of a number of issues linked to dealing with the legacy of the past.
“We have made concrete proposals to deal with all of these issues and we have signed up to the comprehensive compromise package produced by Richard Haass and Meghan O’Sullivan to move this process forward.
“It remains our view that others including the British government and the unionist parties need to do so.”
Note to Editor
1.http://cain.uslt.ac.uk/events/peace/docs/bi010801.htm Implementation Plan issued by the British and Irish Governments on 1 August 2001, prepared by John Reid and Brian Cowen
Paragraph 20. Both governments also recognise that there is an issue to be addressed, with the completion of the early release scheme, about supporters of organisations now on cease-fire against whom there are outstanding prosecutions, and in some cases extradition proceedings, for offences committed before 10 April 1998. Such people would, if convicted, stand to benefit from the early release scheme. The Governments accept that it would be a natural development of the scheme for such prosecutions not to be pursued and will as soon as possible, and in any event before the end of the year, take such steps as are necessary in their jurisdictions to resolve this difficulty so that those concerned are no longer pursued.