July 23, 2014
McGuinness on Adams' N. Ireland arrest: 'It's a deliberate attempt to influence the elections'
The arrest of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is a deliberate attempt by unidentified "dark" forces to undermine the peace process, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said.
Adams was arrested yesterday for the 1972 abduction and murder of Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10 who was abducted and murdered by the IRA.
"I view his [Adams'] arrest as a deliberate attempt to influence the outcome of the elections that are due to take place in three weeks' time, north and south on this island."
McGuinness, also a member of Sinn Fein, said the Police Service of Northern Ireland contained a "dark side" which was "maliciously and vehemently hostile to the peace process".
"I know that we've seen that dark side flex its muscles in the course of the last couple of days," he said.
However, Northern Ireland's first minister denied any political motivation behind the arrest. "Is anybody going to say to me that if the police are aware of claims and evidence in relation to such a barbaric killing that it would be political policing for them to question those who have been suggested to have been involved?" Peter Robinson asked reporters.
In turn, British Prime Minister David Cameron said there had been no political interference in the arrest of Gerry Adams who is being questioned as part of an investigation into one of Northern Ireland's most notorious murders.
"We have an independent judicial system, both here in England and also we do have one in Northern Ireland and there has been absolutely no political interefence in this issue," Cameron told Sky television. "We have independent policing authorities, independent prosecuting authorities," he added.
Sinn Fein is campaigning for European elections on May 23.