ePolitix News
15 April 2004

Sinn Fein has condemned an independent report on paramilitary
ceasefires which has been delivered to the British and Irish governments.

The document, compiled by the Independent Monitoring Commission
(IMC), was handed over to ministers in Belfast and Dublin on Thursday.

Northern Ireland secretary Paul Murphy said he was "studying the
report and arranging to have it printed".

It will be published next Tuesday, when Murphy will make an oral
statement on it in the House of Commons.

The move comes ahead of a meeting of key players in the peace
process, which is due to take place in London later this month.

With the Good Friday agreement currently being reviewed by the
British and Irish governments, and the devolved institutions
remaining suspended, the report comes at a sensitive time.

And it was immediately condemned by Sinn Fein, which said the IMC
has "no positive role to play".

"The IMC is no more than a smokescreen to be used by the British
government to provide cover for any attempt at exclusion in the
future," argued policing and justice spokesman Gerry Kelly.

"The issuing of this report is politically motivated and is an
attempt to disadvantage Sinn Fein in the imminent talks."

The IMC report was delivered ahead of schedule following the alleged
Tohill kidnap attempt in Belfast, which Ulster police chief Hugh Orde
blamed on the IRA.

"The British government has refused to implement the recommendation
of the Cory report to hold an inquiry into the killing of Pat
Finucane on the basis that it would be prejudicial to the trial of a
man charged with his murder," said Kelly.

"In contrast the British government has demanded and received a
report from the IMC on an incident involving Bobby Tohill despite the
fact that a number of men are facing charges relating to that matter.

"Presumably this report will now be made public. The double standards
in operation are blatant. The British government writes the rules to
suit its own strategic interests."

The report was drawn up by former CIA deputy director Richard Kerr,
Commander John Grieve, a former Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist
chief, Lord Alderdice, former presiding officer of the devolved
Belfast assembly and retired Irish civil servant Joe Brosnan.

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