PSNI given more time to quiz Bell over Jean McConville
POLICE have additional time to question a senior republican figure about the murder of widow Jean McConville more than 40 years ago.
Mum-of-10 Mrs McConville was abducted by an IRA gang from her west Belfast home, shot dead and secretly buried.
Officers from the PSNI's serious crime branch arrested 77-year-old veteran republican Ivor Bell at his home in Andersonstown, west Belfast, at lunchtime on Tuesday.
A Belfast court yesterday gave permission to detain Bell for questioning at Antrim police station until tonight.
Bell was seen as a key figure in the Provisional movement and was highly influential in Belfast where he was once a close associate of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and the late Brendan 'Darkie' Hughes.
Mr Adams consistently denied Hughes's claim that he ordered the kidnap of Mrs McConville and said he was not a member of the IRA.
Mrs McConville became one of 16 people who were later known as "the disappeared".
The remains of seven of that group have not yet been found.
Her body was found at Shelling Hill beach in north Louth in August 2003.