Statement from the ‘Justice for the Craigavon Two’ campaign group. 29/04/13
Today both Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton were returned to Maghaberry Jail on the first day of their appeal against the wrongful conviction for the killing of PSNI officer, Constable Carroll.
It was with a sense of disbelief in the opening moments of the hearing that the public prosecution service called for an immediate adjournment due to what they called fresh evidence coming forward from a covert intelligence operation.
This ‘intelligence’ is purporting to the arrest of a new defence witness. This defence witness is a close relation of the key prosecution witness (Witness M) who is central to the original prosecution case.
The new witness had made a statement which discredited the original testimony of witness M and we believe that the arrest was used as a tool of intimidation as the new Witness was released unconditionally within 48 hours of being arrested.
This development indicates the lack of factual evidential information surrounding this case, rather it is a case built upon the dubious practices of covert agents and surveillance.
This practice has now been extended to the defendants’ legal team, family members and members of the Craigavon Two campaign committee, who it has now been revealed were subjected to a covert surveillance and recording operation.
What began as a call for Justice for the Craigavon Two has now clearly been shown to be a case of Justice for us all with the full implementation of the justice system in an open and transparent fashion, free from interference from unaccountable agents of the intelligence services.
In light of today’s events, and the additional delay in hearing of this case, which means that the defendants will have already served nine year sentences we call for both Brendan and John Paul to be released immediately on bail pending the withdrawal of what has now become a farcical and unsustainable conviction.
Signed the Justice for the Craigavon Two Campaign Group