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  • 1 May 2014, 1:37

Gerry Adams Arrested By Police Over Murder

Gerry Adams has been arrested by Northern Ireland police and questioned over the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.

The 65-year-old Sinn Fein President, a former MP for West Belfast, went to Antrim police station for an arranged meeting with officers.

Sky sources say Mr Adams will remain at the station overnight and his interview will resume in the morning.

He issued a statement after the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) announced an arrest had been made.

In it, Mr Adams said he was "innocent of any part" in the killing of the widow and mother of ten, who was taken from her home by an IRA gang.

Mr Adams has always denied membership of the IRA.

"I believe that the killing of Jean McConville and the secret burial of her body was wrong and a grievous injustice to her and her family," he said.

"Well publicised, malicious allegations have been made against me. I reject these."

Police can hold Mr Adams for 24 hours before releasing him, charging him or applying for more time to question him.

Mr Adams has rejected allegations made by former republican colleagues that he had a role in ordering the IRA killing.

No one has ever been charged with the murder.

There have been a series of arrests in connection with the investigation in recent weeks.

These came after a court in the US ordered a university in Boston to hand over recorded interviews with veteran republicans in which they discussed the murder.

Last month, 77-year-old Ivor Bell was charged with aiding and abetting the murder. Five others have been detained and questioned by detectives.

From 2001 Boston College interviewed a number of former paramilitaries - both republican and loyalist - as part of a five-year study on the Troubles on the understanding transcripts would not be published until after their deaths.

That was overturned by the court ruling last year.

Mrs McConville was dragged away from her children in her home in the Divis flats, west Belfast, by an IRA gang of up to 12 men and women after she was accused of passing information to the British Army.

An investigation by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman later rejected any claims that she was an informer.

The 37-year-old was shot in the back of the head and she became one of the "Disappeared" - someone abducted and killed by republican paramilitaries and left in unmarked graves - after her body was buried 50 miles from her home.

The IRA did not admit to carrying out her murder until 1999 and her remains were not discovered until August 2003 on Shelling Hill beach in Co Louth - the area Mr Adams now represents in Ireland's parliament.

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