Tuesday 6 October 2015

Adams may be quizzed over death of McConville

PSNI seeks 'Belfast Project' tapes that claim SF leader ordered killing

Alan Murray

Published 01/01/2012 | 07:46

DENIAL: Sinn Fein leader and TD Gerry Adams
DENIAL: Sinn Fein leader and TD Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein leader and Louth and East Meath TD, is expected to be interviewed about the disappearance of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville if PSNI detectives get legal permission to study the transcript of an interview with Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price about the 1972 abduction and murder.

Ms Price made the tape recording as part of the 'Belfast Project', run by Boston College, to document the roles and experiences of former loyalists and republicans during the Troubles.

A US federal judge last week ordered the college's administrators to hand over the Price recordings to federal prosecutors in Boston. The college has decided not to appeal the ruling.

Officials said they would hand over the interview tapes which relate to the murder of Mrs McConville, whose skeletal remains were recovered in the Republic in 2003.

However, last Friday the author and journalist Ed Moloney, who directed the project, and Anthony McIntyre, the writer and former IRA prisoner, took a case to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, which issued a temporary stay on handing over the tapes and scheduled a full hearing for this Friday.

The court was told that people associated with the project believed their lives would be in danger if the interviews were made public.

The PSNI is understood to be conducting an investigation into the widow's abduction from her home in west Belfast and her murder at the hands of the IRA after she was accused of providing information to the security forces.

The college has already handed over tapes of interviews given by Brendan Hughes, a former IRA member who died in 2008, who spoke of his relationship with Gerry Adams. College officials said that any promise of confidentiality given to the Belfast republican ended with his death.

Boston College first refused to hand over the Price tapes until they faced legal action from the state prosecutor, believed to have been acting at the request of the PSNI.

Both Mr Hughes and Ms Price claim Mrs McConville's abduction and murder were ordered by Mr Adams and carried out by a special IRA unit under his command.

Mr Adams has denied any knowledge of Mrs McConville's murder and has maintained that he was never a member of the Provisional IRA.

Boston College's Belfast Project took place between 2001 and 2006 with academics, historians and journalists conducting interviews with former republicans and loyalists about their activities during the Troubles.

In return for honest accounts, those who were interviewed were promised that their identities would be kept confidential and that the interviews would be released only after their deaths.

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