Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:-
“In reality immunity is amnesty by another name.
“There are at least 3 reasons why it is unacceptable:
1. It brings further perversion and corruption to our criminal justice system. Within our, and any meaningful, criminal justice system there is no limitation period and no point when the long arm of the law cannot catch up with the criminal – as the murderer of John Proctor recently discovered. That is how it should be. There can be no “sell by” date on justice. We have already corrupted our criminal justice system enough through the early release scheme, without starting to hand out “Stay out of Jail” cards.
2. It delivers another victory to the terrorist: what is on offer to the innocent victim is the terrorist delivering his version of “the truth”, in return for immunity. Whether it would be the truth is very doubtful, it would merely be what the terrorist says is the truth and to protect himself it would give no leads that could provide any evidence against him. So, once again, the terrorist would be in the driving seat and the innocent victim expected to live on whatever few crumbs are thrown in his/her direction. It’s legal absolution for selective confession.
3. It would cause division among victims. What happens if one relative wants justice and another is prepared to settle for the terrorist’s version of the truth. Whose will prevails? Likewise, where it was a double murder and one family take one view and the other another? Take Enniskillen or La Mon or Kingsmills or any number of mass murder episodes, how is consensus to be measured? This is an ill thought out and divisive proposal.
“Furthermore, at its heart lies the excusatory approach to “The Troubles”, whereby special rules apply to terrorists, blurring their status as criminals and feeding the rewrite that really in the end they were “freedom fighters” for whom their only accountability is to spin the “truth” as they see it. Also, setting the precedent and encouragement for today’s terrorist that in time immunity will come to them too.
“TUV, therefore, is resolutely opposed to immunity for criminals, terrorist or otherwise.”