26/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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26/01/2017

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The Director of Public Prosecutions says critics who've accused him

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of treating former soldiers unfairly by deciding to prosecute some

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for Troubles-related killings have insulted him and his team.

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Our Home Affairs Correspondent Vincent Kearney asked Barra McGrory

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to respond to claims that he's not impartial because as a solicitor

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he represented the Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams

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Mystified is the mildest way I can put it because anyone

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who is informed about these matters would know that as a professional

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lawyer you represent anybody who seeks the representation from you.

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I have been a professional lawyer for 30 years, during which period

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I have represented loyalist paramilitaries, republican

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paramilitaries, members of the DUP, members of Sinn Fein,

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I have represented a broad cross-section of people.

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Who I have represented in the past really has nothing to do with it.

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As Director of Public Prosecutions now, do you view that

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criticism as an attempt to influence your decision making,

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an attempt to put pressure on you not to prosecute former soldiers?

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I can't speak for the motivation of people who say such things

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but some of them ought to know better.

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If they're not trying to influence me, then

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they are certainly being personally insulting and questioning

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What concerns me more about that is it is insulting

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to this office and to lawyers who work here and do their work

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daily with absolute integrity, and to the best of their ability.

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I am personally offended by the remarks, but I am

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more offended on behalf of the individuals who work

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for the public presecution service and who do a fantastic job.

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I think those making the comments ought to think a bit more

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Politicians have been divided on what Mr McGrory said

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The DUP leader Arlene Foster said there was a disproportionate

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emphasis on the state, while the Ulster Unionist Doug

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Beattie, who's a former soldier, said the perception from a large

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portion of the community was that investigations

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Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly defended Mr McGrory,

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saying it was a scurrilous attack and that he was acting

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The former Alliance leader David Ford also defended him.

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The View will have more on legacy issues shortly -

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here's Mark Carruthers with the details.

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That's right, Rick - we have Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

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and Gerry Kelly in the studio on the day when a senior

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legal figure in Northern Ireland has found himself and his office pulled

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into one of our most toxic political problems.

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A former army officer has said he was a kind of torturer when it

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came to interrogating terrorist suspects during the Troubles.

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Bob Stewart, who's now an MP, was reacting to remarks by the US

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President Donald Trump about the use of water-boarding when questioning

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Before entering the world of politics, MP Bob Stewart

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The outspoken former army colonel came to prominence

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However, it's remarks he made about his time as an officer

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serving in Northern Ireland during the Troubles that have

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The Conservative MP was speaking on BBC radio earlier today.

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There were forbidden techniques introduced in 1977, some of which I

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In a way, technically, as you look at it today, I was the

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The UK Government authorised the use of five interrogation methods

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during the early years of the Troubles, but this

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A man who was arrested and claimed he was waterboarded

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during questioning spoke to the BBC about it a few years ago.

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The water torture, putting a gun against my head and saying if I

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didn't admit to killing a soldier they would have shot me dead.

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A group known as the hooded men have been challenging the authorities

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here over allegations of torture after they were

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And that campaign is still going through the legal process.

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Campaigners for the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings have

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been told their lawyers will be able to apply for legal aid.

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The Government has intervened to remove legal barriers which had

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stopped their Northern Ireland-based solicitors from

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The inquests into the deaths of 21 people who were killed by the IRA

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in November 1974 are due to resume later this year.

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The man who died on the Westlink yesterday was 69-year-old

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His car was the only one involved in the crash.

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Three people escaped injury when a pipe bomb

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was thrown at a house in Londonderry last night.

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The two men and a woman were inside when the device exploded

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in the garden of the property at Erne Gardens in the mainly

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loyalist Irish Street estate in the Waterside.

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Up to forty people were moved to a nearby community centre

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while army bomb disposal experts examined the device.

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This neighbour described what happened.

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The house has got gas in it, whatever he was growing Meadowbank.

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The rest of it was lying on the gas main.

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We thought the whole thing might have went off

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The children were terrorised and scared to come back

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My wife is pregnant and I thought there was going to be an early

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Boxer Carl Frampton says he's expecting between four and five

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thousand local fans travel to Las Vegas for his WBA

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title defence against Leo Santa Cruz this weekend.

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Following their initial encounter last summer Frampton

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was named the prestigious Ring Magazine's Fighter of The Year.

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BBC Newsline's Thomas Kane has sent this report from Las Vegas.

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Headlining here on the world-famous Las Vegas strip is reserved

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for the biggest names in boxing and following his historic victory

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over Leo Santa Cruz in July, Karel Frampton joined that elite

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Over the next 48 hours, thousands of fanatical fans

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will arrive here in Nevada for what could prove to be

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a career defining night, not just for the Belfast boxer

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Santa Cruz lost his undefeated record and world title

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in the previous contest, but the Irish boxer

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maintains he learned more from their fight and his ability

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Michael Gove he feels the result will be exactly the same. And the

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new... If I can beat Leo Santa Cruz,

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that's even more impressive How much of a bearing will the first

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fight have on this one? I think it will have a lot.

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Psychologically, I already have the edge.

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When I fight different opponents the second time I always improve.

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I believe I'm better at boxing than Leo Santa Cruz

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I believe I will win more convincingly.

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We will have all the big fight build-up on tomorrow's programme

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as the countdown continues to Frampton against Leo

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You can listen live on Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Five Live.

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There was quite a drop in the temperature today -

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Here's Cecilia with all the weather details for the days ahead.

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Still pretty cold out there. It will stay dry for much of the night. The

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chilly wind will ease a little bit, but will be strong enough to keep

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the frost away. Rain threatening parts of the West. That will come

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eastwards during tomorrow. At the same time, it will not feel as cold

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because that chilly wind will ease away. Dry weather tomorrow morning,

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particularly across eastern counties. The rain does not reach

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Belfast until about lunchtime. There is the rain gradually moving from

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the West, to the Irish Midlands and towards Wicklow. It is reaching

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Belfast about lunchtime, getting into some western parts of Britain

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later in the day. For many parts of Britain it will be a dry, bright

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day, not as bitter as today. It will not be as cold in Northern Ireland

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as tomorrow afternoon. The rain is very slowly clearing away from

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Belfast and the East Coast. It is drying up in the West, with some

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brightness to end the day. Saturday, a bright and breezy day. Sunshine

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and dry weather. There will be a scattering of showers. Some of them

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could be quite sharp. Sunday starts dry with some sunshine. A good chunk

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of the day could stay dry. Eventually we are expecting it to

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cloud up with some rain. Unite that is it for now, the next BBC Newsline

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is at 6:25am. You can also keep updated

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with news online. There's a reason why your drink

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tastes better today, why you're noticing

:09:57.:10:09.

the subtle botanicals,

:10:10.:10:12.