12/11/2013 Spotlight


12/11/2013

Hard-hitting investigations on the major stories affecting life in Northern Ireland. Ciaran Tracey investigates the security services' fight against dissident republicans.


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Transcript


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Tonight, dispatches from the covert war between the security forces and

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dissident republicans. And we ask, who is winning the war in the

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shadows? These days, political violence is

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supposed to be a thing of the past. But not everybody wants it that way.

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From hoaxes to bombs, from mortars to murder. Dissident Republicans are

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capable of being ruthless. The dissidents are back, bringing

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disruption to the streets. All they need is one success and one success

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will bring mayhem to the country. There is nothing in this world that

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can prepare you for that. They took away my future. But MI5 says it has

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a plan to keep the pressure on. These people will eventually either

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give up or piquant. It is a battle, fought in secret, relying on

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intelligence. But is this what success looks like? I do not think

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that anybody here would expect me to be grateful. Some of the most

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serious cases of dissidents terrorism remain unsolved. So how

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successful is this secret war and do victories on the ground resist --

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damage secret policing? I'm going to Northern Ireland's high security

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prison, to meet a man officially classified as one of the country's

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most dangerous dissident Republicans. Martin Corry is a

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63-year-old man from Lurgan. He was a grave-digger until 2010, when he

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was arrested at his home. He may not be the most high-profile Republican

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in Northern Ireland, but nowadays, his image is plastered, posted and

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painted across the heartlands of Northern Ireland. He is a convicted

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killer, freed on licence but then put back in prison on the basis of

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secret evidence. Martin Corey's family maintained that he does not

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know the specifics of the charges against him but from the court

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papers we have seen, it is possible to get an insight. He is accused of

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papers we have seen, it is possible being a continued IRA leader, of

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trying to recruit members and procure weapons. But he has not been

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questions, and has not faced trial for any of it. He has been there for

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three and a half years. If he has committed a crime, but the charges

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to him. So what is so sensitive about Martin Corey's alleged

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dissident terrorist activity, and why can it not be made public? I am

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on my way to find out from the man himself. Martin Corey was originally

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jailed 40 years ago for the murders of two RUC officers, ambushed by the

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IRA. He was released in 1992 of two RUC officers, ambushed by the

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licence, winning that if he breached certain conditions, the government

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could return him to prison. 18 years later, that is what they did. They

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revoked his licence, because they felt that he was a risk to society.

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Who felt that he was a risk to society? The law is the law. Nobody

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is above it or beyond it. Everybody has the right for their day in

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court. Martin Corey's licence was revoked on the basis of an

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intelligent smile submitted by the security service. A judge said that

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that procedure was unfair and ruled that Martin Corey should be freed on

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bail. That decision has been overturned and he is still inside. A

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handful of people have seen the secret in Telecom

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handful of people have seen the Corey. I would be aware of all the

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material in respect to that case. I am satisfied that it was sufficient

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that the revocation of his licence should be examined. It has also been

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seen by a security cleared lawyer. As recently as yesterday. But the

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substance of the allegations against him remains hidden. This case tests

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the traditional standards of justice against the needs of an intelligence

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war. For most people, justice means evidence tested in open court. But

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intelligence agencies want to keep their secrets in order to disrupt

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terrorist groups. And when they get the upper hand, the question is, in

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the long term, will it make things better or worse? Taking Martin Corey

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off the street has led to Republicans coming onto the

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streets, and that gives Sinn Fein's opponents the potential to start up

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a Republican base. Secret evidence is wrong, regardless of what reason

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they give for it. Secret evidence and secret police, that is the stuff

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you want to relegate to history. That should not be happening in a

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normal society. Sinn Fein supports the campaign to release Martin

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Corey, not least because they argue that actions like this detention

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undermine national list confidence in policing. We have seen a number

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of high-profile cases. We are seeing policing being polluted, and the

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undermining of confidence. policing being polluted, and the

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is to enforce policing. It is not helped by the interference of MI5

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and imaginations. -- their machinations. The difficulty for

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Sinn Fein is that it highlights an issue that is at and Republicans use

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against them, the fact that most sensitive security matters remain

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with London. The PSNI has the operational lead against dissident

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Republicans meaning that they carry out arrests and investigations. But

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MI5 is in charge of gathering intelligence. People sleep easier in

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their bed at night in Northern Ireland because we have people

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watching, listening, observing what is going on. There are people alive

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in Northern Ireland today, even in recent months, because the security

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services were able to intercept what the dissidents were up to and were

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able to prevent terrorist attacks. The Security service is the official

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name for what is more commonly known as MI5. It was put in charge of

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intelligence gathering on dissidents because the threat is considered a

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matter of UK national-security. But Nationalist critics say that MI5's

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reputation during the troubles means it cannot be trusted. It is very

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important in a situation like Northern Ireland, where there is a

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history of abuse, that the control and current ability mechanisms

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should be here within Northern Ireland, not outside. And we do not

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have that here as far as intelligence gathering is concerned.

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This building is the heart of MI5 in Northern Ireland. At the last Kent,

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it had about 500 employees. It is about a fifth of the organisation's

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total resources. What that is in pounds and pence is a state secret.

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All that effort is being pumped into what one former head of MI5 called a

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strategy to squeeze the energy from the dissidents by 2015. They are

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operating a policy of disruption. They are not necessarily that keen

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on filling jail cells full of people for all sorts of different

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offences. They are more keen on planting the seeds of dissent. The

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question is, is it working? It seemed to in the summer as headline

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events went off without a hitch. seemed to in the summer as headline

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in recent weeks, there has been a resurgence in dissident attacks,

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forcing people from their homes and taking life on the streets.

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According to MI5's new boss, who used to run the Northern Ireland

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operation, the security forces are winning. The number of terrorist

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attacks in Northern Ireland is diminishing as we crack down and the

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number of people in the courts is going up. Another dissident groups

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have been closely monitored by the security services and the PSNI. That

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has significantly restricted their capacity to engage in the type of

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high-level terrorist activity that they would like to be engaged in.

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Secret surveillance and undercover operations are a key element in the

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strategy to squeeze them. Michael Campbell was jailed in Lithuania for

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trying to buy weapons in an MI5 sting. He was cleared last month

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when a judge ruled he had been entrapped, but even though his

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conviction fell, the operation appears to have advanced MI5's

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strategy because it's so is doubt about the dissidents. It is as much

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a psychological war as anything else. Michael Campbell, his

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conviction was overturned. But if you are in the real IRA you are

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reluctant to engage in any act of tea with somebody you do not know.

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Yet, they have continued to strike. The murder of a prison officer,

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David lacked was a chilling and unpredicted attack. His killers came

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from a new IRA, said to be a particularly dangerous alliance of

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dissidents. But we have learned that group has already fractured, in part

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because of distrust about which members are compromised by working

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for the intelligence services. The dissident groups at the moment are

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fragmented. They have had a project to create a new IRA. That has effect

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every ended now. With had not worked out. A lot of these people, even

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within individual groups don't trust one another any more. The group

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within individual groups don't trust behind David Black's murder has been

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damaged, but no one has been convict did. That failure raises questions

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about whether disruption really works alongside securing

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convictions. And which of those is MI5's priority. David lacked's case

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is not the only one unresolved. Nobody has been convicted of the

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murder of police constable, Roman care. When you see them walking out

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smiling, it is a smack in the mouth to ordinary people. The lack of

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conviction for David lack an Ronan Kerr, what does that point to? We

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have convictions for possession of explosions and firearms. We work

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hard at preventing attacks happening. Right now the most

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significant remaining dissident conviction, that of two men for the

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murder of PC Stephen Carol hangs in the balance. The Court of Appeal is

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considering the convictions of John Paul Wotton and Brendan McConvill.

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What happened on the night of the murder brought the night -- Secret

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Service is out of the shadows, laying bare the potential tension

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between intelligence agencies and their need to gather information,

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against the police's their need to gather information,

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evidence fit for open court. Stephen Carol was shot dead almost four

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years ago when he came to this Craigavon housing estate to

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investigate a broken window. They took away my future, as they have

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done to other people. They did not care whether they killed one

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policeman, my husband, or whether they killed how many in that car.

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The extraordinary thing about Stephen Carol's murder is that at

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the very moment he was shot, a secret surveillance operation was

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already underway. But some of the evidence from that operation has

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disappeared entirely, for reasons no one has explained. At the time of

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the killing, a car belonging to John Paul Wotton was being trailed. A

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sophisticated, covert tracking device was hidden in the cart

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beaming out its location every two minutes. It had been placed by a

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secret army units, probably a special reconnaissance Regiment.

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According to the judge, at PSNI investigator could not get their

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hands on the tracker information immediately after the killing. Some

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of the data was handed over to investigated -- investigators two

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weeks after the murder, but it was four months until detect this could

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get the actual device from the Army and only after they threatened to

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get a warrant. Security services should cooperate where evidence they

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held would assist the police. should cooperate where evidence they

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that is not happening, that is something that I as a member of

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Parliament would be concerned about. The data showed the car had parked

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near the murder scene before the killing. But ten minutes after

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Stephen Carol were shot, it was on the move. Over the next three hours,

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the cart moved around Craigavon, making four separate stops. At

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trial, the prosecution alleged he was transporting Stephen Carol's

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killer. The tracker's readings said it stop here at 1:15am. We know the

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cart was moved after that, but information from the tracker stops

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here. According to the judge there was no data after 1:15am.

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That left a gap of more than 14 hours between the last known

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movements of the car and be addressed the next day. I gap

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created because someone had deleted the tracker's data. The soldier who

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placed the tracker told the court he had taken it out of the car after

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the arrest and left it on the table while he went on leave. When he came

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back, the tracker had been deliberately wiped, including the

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data on the car's last movements. But no one could explain why. If

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there is a suggestion evidence was wiped, that sounds to me like gross

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incompetence. Or it could we more sinister. It could be that the

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evidence was removed to cover somebody, to protect somebody. I

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don't know, I don't know the inside story. But the kindest words with

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the gross incompetence. But if you look on the other side of the coin,

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is it a cover up? Sinn Fein said the actions of the intelligence unit

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undermined the PSNI, a police force they support. They remain deeply

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sceptical about the methods and object is of British intelligence.

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In my opinion they know exactly why it was wiped. But the underlying

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point is this is a modem -- modus operandi of MI5. An army unit had a

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tracker on John Paul Wotton's car, did the PSNI know about that? Yes we

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did, and we had control of that entire operation from start to

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finish. Do you know information was wiped? No, because by that time

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there was a huge police operation in place and I am convinced I had

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access to all material and there is no ulterior motive or other agenda

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running in respect of this. Something had been deleted? I cannot

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say I was pleased about that, but we went down other evidential routes to

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prove the actual movements of that particular vehicle. For

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nationalists, the presence of a secret army reconnaissance unit is

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controversial, made worse by the apparent absence of independent

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scrutiny of its activities here. That is because of a specific legal

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loophole. The UK's secret intelligence gatherers, including

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MI5 are sub host to a range of watchdog bodies and commissioners. A

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key figure is the intelligence services Commissioner who oversees

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the conduct of MI5 and others. But he is specifically prevented from

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investigating Ministry of Defence personnel in Northern Ireland and

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that means the undercover army unit that lost the tracker's data. The

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former independent overseer of UK terror law says he is not aware of

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the detail of the case, but the tracker should not have been wiped.

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If anything was deliberately deleted, it should not have been

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deleted at all. It is the only deleted, it should not have been

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useful comment I can make. The police and security service in

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astonishingly difficult circumstances sometimes, work well

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together and have a united leadership on these issues. It was a

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year after Stephen Carol's murder that Martin Corey was returned to

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jail. One of the few known reasons for his arrest is he associated with

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a Lurgan Republican, a man police believe was involved with Stephen

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Carol's killer, but has not been brought before the courts. I have

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been in to see Martin Corey, but I was not allowed to record the

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conversation of ring in a pen and paper, but we did talk for over an

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hour. I had my fingers scanned, I was given this little bit of paper

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to produce to go in and visit Martin Corey. I found him a very entrenched

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Republican, old school. He said he was a leader of the continuity who

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was trying to buy weapons and trying to recruit members. One of the

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surprising things he told me, he believes he is back in jail because

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he refused to become an informant. He said he was approached approached

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repeatedly by two plainclothes PSNI operators. He refused to give

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information and they threatened him that his licence would be revoked.

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He says it is because of this he is back in jail. The PSNI said they

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don't comment on intelligence matters, but they use of agents is

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governed by the matters, but they use of agents is

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legislation. Martin Corey's situation has led some to invoke one

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of the most divisive memories from Northern Ireland's troubled past. He

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is being detained as a result of intelligence reports, intelligence

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sightings, what ever you want to call it. But that is not evidence.

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That is an important point to make, because this is effectively

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internment without trial. To use the word interment, it is a big

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accusation? I think I am using it accurately, not just as a politician

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but is also as a lawyer. I don't believe there has been due process.

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The fact remains, although evidence is secret, the process is legal.

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Licences are not revoked in the court of public opinion. They

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revoked by people who the law charges for taking those decisions.

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It is ridiculous to suggest a man has been denied his Liberty based on

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an arbitrary decision. The people taking this decision take it on the

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evidence presented to them. Gerry Conlon of the Guildford four is

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worried about justice not being seen to be done. I have been imprisoned

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for 15 years for something I did not do. Totally innocent man. I watched

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my father die in a British prison for something he did not do. He is

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back in court these days as an observer, worried about the use of

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shadowy intelligence in observer, worried about the use of

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cases. British justice has always been based on that you know the

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accusations you are facing and you face your accusers. Even though what

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happened to others was wrong and the law was subverted in order to secure

:23:24.:23:29.

conviction, British justice when it is applied in its proper context, is

:23:30.:23:34.

probably the best judicial system in the world. How can you say it is the

:23:35.:23:40.

best in the world? British justice, if it is run as it should be, and I

:23:41.:23:47.

have no doubt in most cases it is, it is probably one of the best legal

:23:48.:23:52.

systems in the world. But we live in a democracy and it is not good

:23:53.:23:56.

enough to say we have had secret information we cannot share. This

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enough to say we have had secret going down the Guantanamo Bay

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route. A Sunday in north Belfast and Republicans gather for a ceremony to

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remember Thomas Begley, the IRA bomber. Some of these people used to

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trouble MI5, but now they are mainstream and they are dismissive

:24:17.:24:21.

of the dissidents. They are not having any effect, not going

:24:22.:24:27.

anywhere. The people who are involved in these other republican

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groups are entirely wrong. A week later, and evidence that Sinn

:24:36.:24:41.

Fein's critics are attempting to use allegations of interment as a

:24:42.:24:46.

rallying cry. Supporters of Martin Corey have organised a picket along

:24:47.:24:48.

the road. It was built on a world Corey have organised a picket along

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record attempt, but the numbers are less than overwhelm and. It is about

:24:55.:25:01.

getting people who have political dissent of the street. Putting them

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in jail and scaring other people from joining in. The police say

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there is no substance to that allegation and anyone jailed will

:25:13.:25:15.

have gone through the proper judicial process. These people know

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we are constantly working towards building a case against them. We

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have charged 261 people since the 1st of April, 2010, of axe of

:25:27.:25:34.

terrorism. That is a chunk of people who have been active in the

:25:35.:25:40.

dissident groups. Although many have been charged, few have been

:25:41.:25:43.

convicted and some claim that suits MI5.

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In County Tyrone, I meet a man who was remanded in jail after the

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police said his fingerprints were found on a plastic bag containing a

:25:55.:25:59.

new type of bomb. A man who accepts the title of Dissident Republicans

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publicly but denies any role in terrorism. The messages on the wall,

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do you feel you have been at the sharp end?

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The writing is not from a bygone area. But the someone who has spent

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nine months on numerous charges, I have never seen any of the evidence

:26:24.:26:29.

that was used against me. What is notable about this case is that

:26:30.:26:36.

after spending months in jail on explosives and terrorist charges,

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his case was dropped. We don't even know if the evidence exist. I don't

:26:41.:26:44.

think there was ever enough to hold me. I think they knew that and they

:26:45.:26:50.

used the remand period to inter me because of my political beliefs. Why

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would you become a target? With these powers, it is a case of who is

:26:57.:27:00.

giving us trouble in what areas and who isn't singing off him switch --

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hymn sheet. I have seen absolutely no evidence of arrest to be used as

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a technique of disruption. If I did, I would criticise it severely

:27:15.:27:18.

and I do not believe ministers either locally, or UK ministers

:27:19.:27:27.

would support it. This problem is, the criminal justice system is so

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slow that it is possible these cases are just normal. I think you can

:27:32.:27:38.

certainly said the slow system creates a temptation for the police

:27:39.:27:40.

and intelligence agencies to kick people into the long paperwork, if

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you like. You need to be an angel to resist that temptation, perhaps.

:27:47.:27:53.

Whatever their tactics, the security services strategy seems to have

:27:54.:27:56.

lowered the death toll inflicted by dissidents. I think police on both

:27:57.:28:03.

sides of the border and security services in Northern Ireland are

:28:04.:28:08.

fighting a different type of war against Dissident Republicans. I

:28:09.:28:11.

think that the moment it is being successful. As long as the dissident

:28:12.:28:16.

threat remains in Northern Ireland, so should MI5, say their supporters.

:28:17.:28:23.

The security services are saving lives in Northern Ireland. Their

:28:24.:28:26.

work is preventing many attacks by Dissident Republicans. No citizen in

:28:27.:28:34.

Northern Ireland who operate within the law has nothing to be frightened

:28:35.:28:42.

about with these operations. But MI5's presents a road 's efforts at

:28:43.:28:45.

giving the police the confidence of their communities. What good are

:28:46.:28:53.

they doing? In my opinion, non-. We need to worry about who is looking

:28:54.:28:57.

at the bigger political picture. MI5 can be affect did in disrupting the

:28:58.:29:04.

dissidents the years, but if they are using secret evidence, a

:29:05.:29:07.

political issue builds up that needs to be addressed and we don't have

:29:08.:29:12.

the mechanism to address that. Secrets and violence flourish in

:29:13.:29:16.

darkness. The hope must be the war of the shadows gives way to the pale

:29:17.:29:23.

dawn of peace. That no more lives are lost and that the battle for

:29:24.:29:28.

hearts and minds is a victory for us all.

:29:29.:29:48.

By the 1920s, nearly one in four residents was Jewish.

:29:49.:29:52.

Even so, the predominance of Jewish songwriters on Broadway

:29:53.:29:57.

was then, and remains today, a phenomenon.

:29:58.:30:00.

They're almost all Jewish, but the great exception that makes

:30:01.:30:04.

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