UK & World News

  • 4 May 2014, 22:08

Gerry Adams Declares Innocence After Release

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has again stressed he was not involved in a notorious IRA murder as he was released from custody after four days of questioning.

He was freed without charge after being quizzed for 96 hours by police investigating the murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville, who was snatched from her home in front of her children in 1972.

Mr Adams, 65, told a news conference in west Belfast: "I rejected all of the allegations made against me."

He said he did not eat during the first two days of his detention and was "concerned about the timing" of his arrest which came before local and European elections.

"Let me very clear - I am innocent of any involvement in any conspiracy to abduct, kill or bury Mrs McConville," he said.

"I have worked hard with others to have this injustice redressed and for the return of the bodies of others killed during the conflict and secretly buried by the IRA, and I will continue to do so."

Earlier, Loyalists blocked roads outside Antrim police station in Northern Ireland in an attempt to stop officers freeing him.

Dozens of protesters holding flags and placards stood outside the high-security building bearing messages such as "Justice for Victims".

Armoured Land Rovers, one thought to contain Mr Adams, were prevented from leaving the front gate as Loyalists sat in the road chanting "we shall not be moved".

Police in riot gear stood guard as the sit-down demonstration continued.

While that was going on, Mr Adams left the police station by the back gate in an another armoured police vehicle.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said a file will be sent to the Public Prosecution Service, which will decide whether to charge Mr Adams.

The decision would normally rest with the region's Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory QC.

But he is to delegate the case to another senior official, as he has previously acted as Mr Adams' lawyer.

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

Mr Adams' arrest has led to a growing political row, with Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson accusing Sinn Fein of attempting to blackmail police.

The party had warned it would review its support for policing if Mr Adams was charged.

Mr Robinson said: "The PSNI must not be the subject of republican bully boy tactics."

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