West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Who are PSNI trying to protect in Arlene Arkinson Case?-Doherty

Published: 10 July, 2015

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty has described as an "alarming development" the disclosure made at the long-delayed inquest into the disappearance of County Tyrone teenager Arlene Arkinson that the PSNI are attempting to invoke Public Interest Immunity (PII) to withhold 3 files being made available to the Coroner. The questions arises what are the PSNI trying to hide and moreover who are they trying to protect?

He said,

"At the latest preliminary hearing in Belfast Coroner's Court on Wednesday, the Coroner Brian Sherrard refused to grant a request by the Lawyer acting on behalf of the PSNI for more time to disclose the 70 plus files said to be held by the organisation into Arlene's disappearance and said he was not prepared to extend an end of August deadline for detectives to security vet murder investigation papers on the case and was not prepared to allow any more slippage.

"It was during the course of the hearing that the prospect of the PSNI seeking to apply for Public Interest Immunity (PII) on three of the files, in a bid to stop their contents being outlined in court has been disclosed. Ultimately, the decision on such an application will rest with the Coroner.

"However, this disclosure is an extremely alarming development in the case as applications for Public Interest Immunity (PII) to withhold information from legal proceeding are normally only made when issues of "national security or the protection of police methodologies, such as the use of informers" are invoked.

"The questions arises what are the PSNI trying to hide and moreover who are they trying to protect?"