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  1. #1
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    UK - 'Catastrophic mistake' means no trial in 1982 Hyde Park bombing

    A 'catastrophic mistake' by police and security forces means there will be no trial in relation to a nail bomb which killed four soldiers, seven horses and injured 50 in Horseguards Parade, London, in 1982.

    A judge has decided that John Downey, 62, who was charged with the slaughter, was mistakenly assured by authorities in Northern Ireland in 2006 he was no longer a wanted man and would not face arrest if he visited England. In fact, he was still wanted over the killings. But even when authorities realised their mistake, they did not correct it. Under the Good Friday Peace agreement of 1998, anyone given that assurance cannot be charged.

    Therefore the detention of Downey when he flew into London last May was illegal and there can be no trial, it was announced today. Media have been forbidden to report until this week, although the decision was apparently made last week, I believe. Relatives of the victims are devastated. Downey denies being involved.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/ne...-30041170.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...en-horses.html
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  2. #2
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    I guess someone thought those horses were a real dangerous enemy.
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


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    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...2009-19/page22

  3. #3
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    For anyone who doesn't live in England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland, it is quite hard to to explain why a 1982 bombing is suddenly having such a huge impact. It really is a total mess though.

    The Government has announced it will not appeal the judge's decision to drop the case against the man suspected of this nail bombing. The UK's current Prime Minister, David Cameron, is saying the letter granting him immunity from prosecution is a 'dreadful mistake'.

    A First Minister for Northern Ireland (high ranking official) is now threatening to resign if there isn't a judicial review because he says no-one told him that the British Government had sent out all these letters to wanted people who had been on the run for years, telling them that they would not be arrested or charged with the crimes they were suspected of. There are about 187 of them, according to this Mail article.

    Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is being blamed for making a 'secret deal' when he was in office. It just seems that the head doesn't know what the tail is doing, and how a case managed to get all the way to the courtroom before anyone noticed the man had been granted immunity, I do not know. It would be laughable, if four soldiers and seven horses hadn't suffered such a horrible, mutilating death, and 50 others hadn't been injured. Nail bombs are despicable weapons, in my opinion.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1217684/pe...mb-quit-threat

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...tice-done.html
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


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  4. #4
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    The article also mentions that three prisoners who escaped to the US in 1983 have been 'fighting extradition' attempts but have probably been sent immunity from prosecution letters too.

    So meaning, I think, British authorities have been trying to get them returned even though they cannot bring a case against them because they've granted them immunity?

    Incomprehensible. And so painful for the family of victims.
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


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  5. #5
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    Sefton.

    And later, darker, darker things.

    God save us all.

  6. #6
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    I wonder what was the thinking behind the CPS even trying to press forward with that prosecution, which had little hope even without the letter guaranteeing immunity. The main prosecution witness was a serial supergrass and pathological liar, every trial he gave evidence at fell apart. He's also now dead and so can't give evidence anyway. The main defense witness would have been a woman who saw the suspected bomber and gave a description completely different from Downy. She is also now dead and cannot give evidence.

    With such a weak case, was it really worth causing a political storm which nearly collapsed the power sharing executive in NI? And why did the UK authorities never attempt to extradite Downey back when the witnesses were still alive?

  7. #7
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    Undoubtedly, the prosecution case has been tainted by history. The whole peace agreement between England and Northern Ireland hinges on stuff like this though, so authorities have to get it right.

    I feel so sorry for the victim's families, who don't even have the consolation of knowing their lack of justice contributed to a peace that's saved many lives. Instead, they've been left in this no-man's land of unrequited justice, that seems to threaten peace more than make it.
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


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  8. #8
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    I think they should draw a line under all these historical prosecutions on all sides. Its only keeping old wounds open, and there's probably not much chance of proving alot of these cases in court anyway after 20-30 years.

  9. #9
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    wth would they tell him that?!

  10. #10
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    It was an agreement made with Sinn Fein as part of the peace process.


  11. #11
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    WWtMD?

    (What Would the Mossad Do?)

    But seriously, this would infuriate me. I was livid when the Scots let Al-Megrahi (Lockerbie bomber) go.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHB View Post
    WWtMD?

    (What Would the Mossad Do?)

    But seriously, this would infuriate me. I was livid when the Scots let Al-Megrahi (Lockerbie bomber) go.
    The Mossad would probably send someone out to murder Downey, then someone on the Palestinian side would be sent out to shoot or bomb Israelis in revenge, then the Mossad would be sent back out to get them, then round and round we go.

    If its all the same to you, I'd prefer it if my country didn't take the Middle East as an example to follow.

  13. #13
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    There is a very long, thoughtful article by Peter Hain here. Having followed his highly interesting career over many years and not always agreeing with what he says, I can say I believe this man cares very much about victims.

    It is so hard for the families of victims though, and I recollect the talk at the time about this particular one - even those supportive of the campaign were chilled. I hope these times never return.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...g-to-hide.html
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


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    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...2009-19/page22

  14. #14
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    I agree with Hain when he says the police should draw a line under historical prosecutions on all sides and concentrate on the dissidents who want to continue the violence. But there is still something 'off' with his description of those letters. If, as Hain claims, they didn't guarantee immunity from prosecution and they aren't get out of jail free cards, then why has a judge just thrown out the prosecution of John Downey because he has one of those letters?

    Either the judge is wrong, or Hain is not telling the whole truth about the contents of those letters.



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