The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Dupe Process

Anthony McIntyre • 16 July 2006

Paddy Murray is a republican of the non-respectable variety. A traditionalist republican, he simply thinks Sinn Fein has sold out. Whether the party did sell out or - as those republicans less enamoured of tradition would put it - simply failed, a swathe of anecdotal evidence suggests that Murray is hardly alone in his opposition.

Personable and articulate, Murray is possessed of a maturity which leaves him unruffled when other republicans are critical of his own political views. He fights his corner, is amenable to argument but never to bullying. Republicans of a different hue, however, are not the only people to take umbrage at the activities or views of Paddy Murray.

Currently on bail for kidnap related charges which have been described as highly questionable, Murray recently won a case against the PSNI who arbitrarily tried to restrict his travel arrangements within the North.

Perhaps annoyed at the ruling against it the PSNI has seemingly taken to getting at Murray in other ways. He was arrested at 6am on the morning of July 14 and brought to Antrim holding centre. There he was charged with IRA membership, purchasing timing devices and making bombs. The case against him was that a shop keeper had alleged that the former republican prisoner had bought timing devices from him on two separate occasions eighteen months earlier.

Paddy Murray assented to a police request that he take part in an identity parade. The format of the parade was that a video recording of Murray and various still photographs of him being shown to the witness in a separate police station. The witness simply referred to as Witness A was clad in a boiler suit and balaclava. Murray's solicitor, despite describing the procedure as a sham, remained throughout in order to best serve his client's interests.

The witness who was styled more like a paramilitary gangster than an upholder of the law failed to identify Murray. The witness was then asked to go through the procedure once again. Murray's solicitor strenuously objected and said he would be raising the matter with Nuala O'Loan. The PSNI ignored him before proceeding to name Murray to the masked witness and then putting the Antrim republican through the procedure for a second time. The result was the same, the witness failed to identify Murray and the PSNI was compelled to withdraw the charges they had earlier put to him. He was subsequently released.

Despite all being well that ends well, there are three reasons for public alarm arising from the police treatment of Paddy Murray. This treatment sits against a backdrop which illustrates that the PSNI in order to put people in prison are prepared not only to use the old methods from the days when it was called the RUC, but are actually striving to reinforce them with practices which are draconian and unprecedented.

Firstly, the PSNI has already demonstrated how it was prepared to fabricate evidence against republicans in the case of two South Down men and a Derry man. They were all eventually acquitted amid a furore over forensic malpractice. In their eagerness to use the law in the sense once urged by Frank Kitson, to dispose of unwanted members of the public, the PSNI was clearly prepared to flagrantly breach procedures stipulated by the rule of law for the protection of members of the public.

Secondly, the PSNI use of US money grabber Dave Rupert in the case against the dissident republican Noel Abernathy underlines a further lowering of the bar in terms of defendants' rights. Rupert's evidence at the trial of Michael McKevitt was so preposterous that many people think on any legal reading of the McKevitt case, that Rupert should be serving time for perjury.

Thirdly, the contempt for the legal practitioners is a worrying trend. Murray's solicitor was treated as if he didn't exist. This follows on the heels of the PSNI totally undermining lawyer-client confidentiality by bugging a legal consultation between solicitor Manmohan "Johnny" Sandhu,and one of his clients.

Each of these strands are worrying in their own right, but when weaved together they can form a formidable knot to be pressed against the throat of any justice system. The further dilution of standards and precedents that ostensibly serve to protect the public from bad policing, is something that should be monitored and guarded against. Treating due process as if it did not exist and in its place pursuing a course of action which dupes legal standards on the admissibility of evidence, suggests that policing in the North has a sinister hankering for the past this society is supposed to have left behind.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Index: Current Articles



19 July 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Dupe Process
Anthony McIntyre

Heatwave Won't Affect Cold Storage
Dr John Coulter

Hanson's Handouts
John Kennedy

Israeli State Terror
Anthony McIntyre

Judgement Day
John Kennedy

Israel, US and the New Orientalism
M. Shahid Alam

The Right, the Need to Resist
Mick Hall

An Invitation to My Neighborhood
Fred A Wilcox

Prison Fast
RPAG

Death Brings Fr Faul
Anthony McIntyre

Risking the Death of Volunteers is Not the IRA Way
Brendan Hughes

Principles and Tactics
Liam O Ruairc

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Preliminary Hearings Cont'd.
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Rupert's Reward
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Rupert's Inconsistencies
Marcella Sands

Blast from the Past
John Kennedy

An Elegant End
Seaghán Ó Murchú

West Belfast - The Past, the Present and the Future
Davy Carlin


9 July 2006

Father Faul Saved Many Lives
Richard O'Rawe

Richard O'Rawe, PSF, and Events in 1981
Gerard Foster

Looking Back on 1981
Anthony McIntyre

Haughey and the National Question
Maria McCann

Brits Not to Blame for Haughey
David Adams

Greenfest
John Kennedy

Euston Manifesto: Yesterday's News
Mick Hall

Considering A Multi-Faceted Approach to the Middle East
Mehdi Mozaffari

Book Better Than Its Title
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Crowning Mr Unionist
Dr John Coulter

Extra Time Will Not Be Decisive
David Adams

'Pretty Much a Busted Flush'
Anthony McIntyre

Orangefest
John Kennedy

Just Books Web-launch
Jason Brannigan

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Omagh, David Rupert, MI5 & FBI Collusion
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Preliminary Hearings
Marcella Sands

Jury Duty Free State
Dolours Price

Even the Obnoxious
Anthony McIntyre

 

 

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