16/05/2017 – Defence Committee’s Report is ambiguous and open to multiple interpretations

Regarding the following article.

Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United stated: “The Report is ambiguous to say the least, the languages used are open to multiple interpretations. IVU has a clear stance on terrorism and criminal violence – where there can be proven to be a premeditated intent to take human life (minus terrorists being killed whilst in the midst of an offensive action) all such crimes must be treated consistently”.

“The Defence committee‘s report concludes, “It is clear from the experience of these legacy investigations that, unless a decision is taken to draw a line under all Troubles-related cases, without exception, they will continue to grind on for many years to come – up to half-a-century after the incidents concerned.”

“This is being sold as merely a statement of fact but many are interpreting this paragraph in conjunction with a further paragraph calling for truth recovery mechanisms to be established – that this is the general direction of travel being proposed – a movement away from the prospect of any prosecutions being pursued”.
“The Defence Committee claim to stop short of recommending a Statute of Limitation for all ‘Troubles related crimes’ (inclusive of those crimes perpetrated by terrorists) They do so citing the law and their lack of knowledge as to whether or not the Statute of Limitations could be furthered in respect of the military minus other ‘Troubles related’ cases. This position is dangerous and could effectively pave the way to an overt Amnesty, in many ways we have been subject to a covert Amnesty through various attempts ‘bastardise’ the Criminal Justice system, early prisoner releases, OTR Assurance letters, Royal Prerogatives of Mercy etc”.
“It is clear that there are many within the ‘Establishment’ who favour an out and out Amnesty, this is not acceptable to the innocent victims and survivors of terrorism and ‘other Troubles related criminal violence.’

And then following additional comments made by the Chairman of the Defence Committee.
Mr Donaldson added: “Mr Lewis has in many ways done a service in saying what he has said because the covert language in the report has now become the overt spoken language”