26/04/2017 – Report is ambiguous and open to multiple interpretations – IVU

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.’

On 10/05/2017 Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United 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”

“We raised strong concerns in the aftermath of the Report’s publication believing it paved the way to Amnesty. The old adage can be adapted, if it looks like a blanket amnesty, if it smells like a blanket amnesty, if it is rooted in the language of constructive ambiguity then it’s most probably a blanket amnesty”.
“The UK Government has proven for two decades that it was willing to offer up Justice as the Sacrificial lamb for a Peace Process to remain alive, however the reality is that behind Justice are thousands of broken innocents whose lives have been destroyed by terrorism and then who have witnessed their State do little if anything to rectify their pain, in many ways the State has compounded their pain and there is no Amnesty or Early Release from that pain”.
“We stand firmly against any overt Amnesty being pursued just as we have consistently spoken out against the covert tactics by previous UK Government Administrations designed to placate terrorism and its’ proponents through the subversion of the natural criminal justice system”.
On the matter of Mr Lewis comments concerning the prospect of a South African style Truth and Reconciliation Commission being enacted in Northern Ireland Mr Donaldson added: “Mr Lewis has demonstrated gross naivety in proposing what is a Sinn Fein/PIRA policy. There will not ever be Reconciliation of our Past (victim’s and survivors present and future) until all those who actively contributed to the brokenness account for their actions, recognising those action were wrong, unjustified and wholly futile. Remorse, Repentance and Restitution are precursors for Reconciliation to be possible”.
“Contrary to the jaundiced view of many, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa was not the raging success suggested by Mr Lewis and others, talk to the victims of the terror and violence in South Africa, they are the constituency that matter – not Governments or the perpetrators”.