Statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton
The rejection by the Belfast Court of Appeal on May 29 of the appeal taken by the Craigavon Two, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wooton against their conviction by a non-jury Diplock court for the killing of a member of the RUC/PSNI in March 2009 underlines the unchanging nature of British injustice in Ireland. The outcome of the appeal process sends out a message that the discredited ‘conveyer belt’ non-jury Diplock Court system put in place in the 1970s remains in place and continues to imprison nationalists and Republicans on the basis of evidence that would not withstand legal scrutiny in most jurisdictions.
The use of discredited witnesses and tampered evidence is the norm for the administration of British injustice in Ireland. Nationalist and Republicans cannot expect to receive justice at the hands of a non-jury system that is designed to deliver verdicts on the basis of political decisions and the imperatives of the British State, rather than norms of legal due process. The Six-County State is an abnormal and undemocratic entity that is held in place by use of draconian laws, special courts and special prisons.
We call for the unconditional release of the Craigavon Two and urge civil liberty and human rights bodies to speak out against this latest miscarriage of justice, one in a long litany of such cases experienced by Irish people at the hands of the British Judicial system.