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Northern Ireland: Justice

Volume 715: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 1 December (WA 30), whether the statement made by the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Dr John Reid, on 24 October 2001 in the House of Commons that outstanding prosecutions and extradition proceedings would not be pursued against supporters of organisations on ceasefire and contributing to the peace process remains government policy. [HL568]

The Government announced in September 2000 that they would not pursue extradition proceedings against convicted fugitives who would appear to qualify for early release under the terms of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998. That remains the case.

In relation to outstanding prosecutions, the Government introduced legislation to address this issue in 2005. This legislation was subsequently withdrawn and there are no plans to reintroduce it.