Terrorism: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 5th February 2015.

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Photo of Lord Empey Lord Empey UUP

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how, and by whom, letters were dispatched to those individuals deemed to be "on the run" informing them that there were not currently being sought by police.

Photo of Lord Empey Lord Empey UUP

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any letters indicating that an individual was not being sought at that time by police were signed and issued without the name of a specific individual at a specific address being present on the document.

Photo of Lord Empey Lord Empey UUP

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they asked a third party to deliver letters indicating that an individual "on the run" was not being currently sought by police; and if so, who that third party was.

Photo of Lord Empey Lord Empey UUP

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they issued letters for the benefit of "on the runs" other than to a specifically identified individual at a specific address.

Photo of Baroness Randerson Baroness Randerson Lords Spokesperson (Northern Ireland Office), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

Lady Justice Hallett found that 156 ‘on the runs’ were sent individual letters by Government departments informing them they were not wanted: two by Downing Street and 154 by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). These letters were sent via Sinn Féin between 2000, when the scheme was established by the previous Government, and 2012. These letters were clearly marked for an individual by name and sent to Sinn Féin, accompanied by a covering letter. As the names were provided by Sinn Féin and the NIO were not aware of addresses for these individuals, Sinn Féin were expected to pass on the individual letter to the named recipient.

The total number of ‘on the runs’ considered by the administrative scheme and the outcome of their cases are set out in some detail in Chapter 7 of the Hallett Report. Examples of letters issued under the administrative scheme, including examples of the individual letters and the covering letter to Sinn Féin, can be found at Appendix 8 of the Hallett Report.

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