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McGuinness: Adams Arrest 'Politically Motivated'
Martin McGuinness has reiterated his claim that the timing of Gerry Adams' arrest was "politically motivated".
The Northern Ireland deputy first minister was speaking as a new mural of the Sinn Fein president was unveiled in west Belfast.
Mr McGuinness also helped display a poster of Mr Adams with former South African president Nelson Mandela, which had the words "Defend the peace process" and "release Gerry Adams".
Mr Adams is continuing to be questioned by police in connection with the 1972 murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville.
On Friday, officers were granted another 48 hours to quiz him at Antrim police station.
His party colleague Mr McGuinness told Sinn Fein supporters that he believed the arrest was linked to the local government and EU elections in three weeks' time.
As the election campaign continues, he claimed Sinn Fein candidates were being denied the solidarity and support of the party leader.
And Mr McGuinness alleged some people in the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) who were "hostile" to the peace process were "using dirty tricks" and "deliberately and cynically exploiting" the killing of Ms McConville.
Mr McGuinness has claimed a "cabal" within the PSNI was behind the arrest, with the intention of damaging the process and inflicting political scars on Sinn Fein in election month.
But Justice Minister David Ford said: "I see no evidence that there's political policing in Northern Ireland.
"I do see evidence of a lot of politicians trying to politically interfere with what's being done by policing."
The republican party has warned it will review its support for the police if the veteran leader is charged.
The deputy first minister said he and colleagues would not be making a "knee-jerk" decision.
But he suggested they would "reflect" on their endorsement of the PSNI if such a situation came to pass.
He said of the arrest: "In my view this is a failed attempt at the replay of the effort in 1978 to charge Gerry Adams with membership of the IRA. That case was based on hearsay, gossip and newspaper articles. It failed then and it will fail now.
"Thirty six years later those within the PSNI who are hostile to the peace process are using the same old dirty tricks. They are deliberately and cynically exploiting the awful killing of Jean McConville and the grief and hurt inflicted on her family."
Mr Adams, 65, vehemently denies allegations levelled by former republican colleagues that he ordered the murder after she was wrongly accused of passing information to the security forces.
No one has ever been charged with the murder of the 37-year-old widow.
But after years without progress in the criminal investigation there have been a series of arrests in recent weeks.
The recent police activity followed a decision by a US court compelling a Boston university to hand over to the PSNI recorded interviews with republicans about the murder.
Boston College interviewed a number of former paramilitaries about the Troubles on the understanding transcripts would not be published until after their deaths.
But that undertaking was rendered ineffective when the court ordered last year that tapes that contained claims about the killing be given to detectives.