A REVIEW has been launched into the decision not to prosecute Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams over allegations he failed to report his sex abuser brother.
His brother Liam was convicted last week of raping and sexually assaulting his daughter, Aine Dahlstrom, over a six-year period between 1977 and 1983.
The director of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in the North asked for an independent review of his office's 2011 decision not to prosecute Gerry Adams for allegedly withholding information.
Gerry Adams had been told about the abuse by Liam Adams back in 2000, but only made a complaint to the PSNI in 2009.
In a statement, Gerry Adams said he did not want to comment on the review because it was a matter for the legal authorities.
But he criticised politicians and "elements in the media" who, he said, wanted to politicise a family tragedy.
"The fact is that I co-operated fully with the PSNI, the PPS and the prosecution lawyers throughout this case," he said.
However, the DUP is today set to demand an external UK police force be brought in to investigate whether the Sinn Fein leader withheld information.
The DUP's decision to demand a further official police probe comes after a delegation including Mr Poots met with PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott last night to discuss the case.
A senior source said: "We are keen to see this properly investigated by an external police force. Otherwise too many questions are left unanswered."
Fianna Fail justice spokesman Niall Collins also said Gerry Adams must explain the reasons for his failure to act.
"The big issue that Gerry Adams must address is the fact that he knew his brother to be a child sex offender in 2000 and yet he appears to have done nothing to ensure the safety of other children at risk until he spoke to police in 2009," he said.
And Labour senator Mary Moran, who lives in the same Louth constituency as Gerry Adams, said that it was not enough for him to say he might have acted differently with "hindsight".
"He was a man in a very prominent position and he was aware of the importance of child protection. No reason justifies his decision not to report the abuse straight away," she said.
The controversy threatens to overshadow Sinn Fein's launch of its pre-Budget submission today, which will be attended by Gerry Adams. Back in 2011, the PPS decided not to prosecute Gerry Adams in relation to an allegation that he withheld information in connection with the Liam Adams case.
But a spokesman said that the Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory QC, recognised there had been considerable public interest surrounding the decision.
"While the director has confidence in the evidential decision taken by the PPS prior to his appointment, he has asked the Attorney General to independently review the matter," he said.
The Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin, will be given full access to all the necessary records and documents on the case in order to complete the review.
Liam Adams will be sentenced on November 5 in Belfast after being found guilty by a jury last month. During the trial, his daughter Aine Dahlstrom gave graphic details of the abuse, which started when she was four years old.