Statement by Jim Allister:
“Today we learned that executive parties have had a document outlining the role and functions of the Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (ICIR) since June. However, it is clear from the outrage expressed by innocent victims – who some claim are their central concern when it came to this issue – that they not only profoundly disagree with the proposals but they were not consulted about them. In fact they knew nothing about the proposals.
“The “shared understanding” of the UK and Irish Governments about the operation of the ICIR shows that it is a body which is incapable of bringing closure for innocent victims. Killers will not be named nor the identity of those who provide information disclosed. The raw information the ICIR acquires – which presumably may include DNA and other evidence which could be crucial when it comes to mounting a successful prosecution – will be destroyed when the ICIR ceases to operate.
“Some months ago I highlighted plans to bring the relevant legislation through Westminster in an attempt to keep the hands of local politicians clean and avoid local scrutiny, but the facts that the establishment of the the ICIR will be the outworkings of their Stormont House Agreement and that they have kept this information under wraps from innocent victims since June proves their culpability.
“It has been clear for many years that innocent victims are an embarrassment to those who embrace the IRA’s political wing in government but these proposals take betrayal to new level and potentially deny victims the right not only to know who killed their loved ones but also destroys the prospects of successful prosecutions in the future.
“I challenge the DUP and UUP to confirm if they have had sight of this whitewash charter since June and to declare themselves on its contents.”