GERRY Adams has admitted that the North's current Director of Public Prosecutions was his solicitor in 2007 – at a time when the Sinn Fein leader had neglected to inform police about his paedophile brother.
Mr Adams acknowledged that the head of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) of Northern Ireland, Barra McGrory, was his legal adviser when he was interviewed by police investigating sex abuse allegations against his brother Liam.
Liam Adams (58) was convicted last week of raping and sexually assaulting his daughter, Aine Dahlstrom, over a six-year period between 1977 and 1983.
Mr McGrory has now asked for an independent review of his own office's 2011 decision not to prosecute Adams for withholding information.
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.
And separately, the Northern Ireland's police ombudsman will investigate claims that detectives did not properly investigate the situation.
PSNI officers made a recommendation to the PPS that no prosecution be taken against Gerry Adams.
Mr McGrory was not in charge at the time of the PPS decision not to prosecute Gerry Adams.
But it emerged that in his previous role as a solicitor, he personally represented the Sinn Fein leader.
Yesterday a PPS spokesperson said: "I can confirm that he (McGrory) was Mr Adams' solicitor in 2007."
She continued: "As Mr McGrory is now the Director of Public Prosecutions, it would not be appropriate for him to comment on any communication he had with a former client.
"On his appointment (as DPP) Mr McGrory drew attention to this (Adams case) and a number of other cases in which he was involved."
The spokeswoman stressed again that the former solicitor "took no prosecutorial decision" in relation to whether Gerry Adams should have been charged with the criminal offence of withholding information from police.
She said the decision was taken in October 2011, which was before Mr McGrory's appointment to the office.
At the launch of Sinn Fein's pre-Budget submission, Mr Adams also confirmed that Mr McGrory had previously acted as his solicitor.
He said the review was a matter for the judicial authorities.
"I know that I have committed no offence and that I did what I considered the right thing, and that I co-operated fully with the PSNI, with the Public Prosecution Service, with the court. I gave evidence in the court. So I don't have any concerns about that," he said.
But he criticised politicians and "elements in the media" who, he said, wanted to politicise a family tragedy.
However, Mr Adams' admission yesterday did little to dampen the growing controversy surrounding his involvement in the case.
Politicians on both sides of the Border have been heavily critical of Mr Adams' failure to act when his brother admitted being a child abuser in 2000.
Stormont's Health Minister Edwin Poots called for a probe into how the PSNI handled the republican leader's apparent failure to alert police to his brother Liam's abuse when he first learned of it.
"Aine Adams was let down by the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), she was let down by her uncle Gerry Adams, and she has been let down to some extent by the PSNI," he said.