Can a nation claim legitimacy and rule of law when it authorises acts illegal under it's own legislation? Discuss.
The amount of political leverage the republican movement have gained from such allegations is both immense, and well used by their own spin doctors when they come under pressure themselves for illegal activity
Holding republican views is not illegal! And neither is it an offence that attracts the death penalty - nor should it.The driving force to have him taken out of circulation was the fact that he was a republican.
I'm afraid I disagree, for the reasons I've already given. I have no problem with fighting 'dirty'. I have no problem with the concept of shooting dead people who are about to commit acts of murder - as per the numerous examples of the IRA being shot dead as they were about to launch an ambush, fire rockets, shoot soldiers etc etc. I had no problem with what happened in Gibralter.Ultimately, can the nation claim legitimacy while carrying out illegal acts? In certain circumstances, yes I believe it can,
I don't believe that this enquiry was set up to establish an excuse to get Adams et al back in the peace process.Do you also think it coincidence that the reort has been published at a time when the British Government is looking to give Adams and the rest a get out clause and back into the peace [sic] process?
Somebody gave the FRU funding, authority and objectives. That somebody didn't do it without clearance from a pretty senior level, I'd have thought.Who says this Nation authorised any illegal act? The report certainly didn't.
Stevens is going to be able to produce evidence that he was obstructed in his investigation. It would appear that much of the documented evidence has been destroyed or 'lost' by those responsible for its safekeeping.
If they are able to prosecute anyone on his list then they will only be able to do so on evidence that will prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that unlawful acts were committed. This will perhaps be the evidence you and others require before you're convinced.
I don't believe that this enquiry was set up to establish an excuse to get Adams et al back in the peace process.
I wonder if perhaps Stevens has only been allowed to publish once Brian Nelson was dead because BN would have been able to corroborate much of what Stevens is claiming. Now Nelson is dead the potential impact of Stevens report is reduced because one of the main witnesses is out of the way.
Or perhaps, in anticipation of this very fact, Brian Nelson's brain was encouraged to start hemorraging by a well placed bullet put there (by someone on that list, perhaps?)
Somebody gave the FRU funding, authority and objectives. That somebody didn't do it without clearance from a pretty senior level, I'd have thought.
But having said all that, if the worst allegation John Stevens is going to be able to come up with is that FRU handlers knew when and where people were going to be murdered (and did nothing about it), then the worst charge they will face is 'accessory to murder' or something like that (I have no criminal legal training, so I am a bit out of my depth now!)
If any of them refused to release evidence that could have convicted a terrorist then they could be charged with withholding evidence.
John Stevens must feel, or must certainly be hoping, that the weight of evidence in his report will be enough to satisfy the requirement of 'beyond reasonable doubt'. That quality of evidence has to be pretty high. If it's not, then the other option is to bring charges in the civil courts, which have a lower burden of proof (aka the OJ Simpson trial and the forthcoming Omagh bombing trial).
Having said all of that,my instinct is that some individuals within the FRU got too close to the inferno. I guess the ultimate fork in the road will be if there is any evidence to show that FRU handlers (instead of just receiving information) gave out information to their informants and the instructions for individuals to be taken out
I don't suppose any of us will know until any court case happens.