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  • 5 May 2014, 20:29

Gerry Adams Warned Of 'Credible Death Threat'

Gerry Adams has been warned of a "credible" death threat after being questioned over a 1972 murder, his Sinn Fein party said.

It said the warning was passed to Mr Adams' wife while he was not home.

The 65-year-old was released from Antrim police station last night after four days of questioning about the IRA killing of mother of 10 Jean McConville more than 40 years ago.

"The PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) officer told Gerry Adams' wife Collette that they had information of a credible threat to the life of Gerry, who was not at home at the time," Sinn Fein Stormont Assembly member Raymond McCartney said.

"Clearly there are elements that are opposed to the peace process and anti-Sinn Fein. We will not allow them to succeed nor will we be deflected from our determination to build the peace process."

Bobby Storey, another senior Sinn Fein member, was also warned that his life had been threatened, the party said.

The police refused to confirm that Mr Adams had received a death threat, but said: "We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk."

The Sinn Fein leader has denied the claims made by former republican colleagues that he ordered the abduction and murder of Mrs McConville and has always dismissed reports that he was a member of the IRA.

The Public Prosecution Service will decide whether to charge Mr Adams with any offence after reviewing evidence handed to them by police. 

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's First Minister told Sky News his republican deputy Martin McGuinness "crossed the line" when he said the arrest was "politically motivated".

Peter Robinson said the questioning of the Sinn Fein president showed "nobody is above the law".

Sinn Fein has accused an "anti-peace process rump" in the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) of orchestrating the questioning to damage the party ahead of upcoming elections.

Support for policing would be reviewed if Mr Adams was charged, the party warned.

But Mr Robinson, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, said such comments were "damaging" and it was up to Sinn Fein to repair that damage.

It is not for politicians to comment on the "due process of law", he told Sky's Ireland correspondent David Blevins.

He said: "Whether there's a charge of course is a matter entirely for the Public Prosecution Service. I really do hope they won't allow themselves to be intimidated in any way by the threats and bluster from Sinn Fein."

Specifically addressing the comments of Mr McGuinness, he said: "I think the deputy First Minister has crossed the line and I think he does need to seriously look at what he has said and to start to reconsider the remarks that he has made."

Mr Adams returned to the campaign trail on Monday after being released from Antrim police station.

Mrs McConville's son Michael has called for an independent body to investigate the allegations against Mr Adams "so there is no political pressure on the police".

His mother was the most high profile of the "Disappeared" - those who were abducted and killed during the Troubles.

The 37-year-old was killed by the IRA after being wrongly accused of spying for the British Army.

Her remains were finally discovered in 2003 on a beach 50 miles from her home. No one has ever been charged with her murder.

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