Extracts from Gerry Adams's press conference with reporters
Extracts from Gerry Adams's press conference
Q. How exactly would you protect witnesses and juries?
In Britain, across Europe and in the US they have witness protection programmes and they deal with criminality and they bring those that are accused and they are subject to due process.
Q. So would you put juries into a sort of witness protection programme?
There are measures which can be used to deal with all of that ...
Q. But are you saying that somebody who sits on a jury and does their civic duty can kiss goodbye to their family and go into hiding?
Listen to your tape and if you hear me saying that I'll give you a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert.
Q. You said you'd send jurors into witness protection?
I said other administrations deal with this issue and deal with criminality of this kind without resource to Special Criminal Courts.
Q. When you said witness protection, what were you referring to?
Well, I'm not an expert in the detail of all of that. I know that it functions well in the US.
Q. For jurors?
It functions well for everyone involved.
Q. So you'd send jurors into hiding for doing their civic duty?
Sorry, sorry, I never said that.
Q. So what were you talking about?
I've already answered the question.
Q. It's not clear at all what you mean?
I've been very clear.
Q. It is scant on detail?
You put in normal laws that are based upon justice and then if there are special threats for anyone involved, witnesses or jurors, you bring in the type of measures that have worked quite well in other administrations - but still allow a person to be tried by a jury of their peers.
Q. But what exactly are those measures?
Well, eh, I… you would have to go and check on those and we will, if you wish, come back in detail on that. But our broad principle is that everyone has the right to a jury of their peers. I spent four-and-a-half years imprisoned without any trial at all. Do you think that's fair?
Q. But you weren't tried by the Special Criminal Court?
Without any trial whatsoever.
Q. But that's not the issue we're talking about. You brought up special protection? I'm asking you what you mean that witness protection programmes are available to people who serve on juries?
We will use the best practice from other administrations to adopt to this particular circumstances in this State. Sorry, you can't understand plain English.