JFTC2 Statement On Brian Shivers Acquittal

JFTC2 hands

The Justice for the Craigavon Two group welcome todays acquittal of Brian Shivers, Brian’s case has many similarities with the case of the Craigavon Two, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton.

Both the Massereene attack and the killing of PSNI member Stephen Carroll happened in a four day period, the state response to both attacks was swift and obviously coordinated, in a matter of days Brian Shivers, Colin Duffy, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton were arrested and detained in Antrim PSNI Station.
All were held under new legislation which seen periods of up to 13 days detention without charge, a precedent to this time. after this all four were charged respectively and sent to Maghaberry with Brian later securing bail until trial,
After years on remand both trials simultaneously opened in the High Court, both cases relied almost entirely on circumstantial evidence and in the case of Brian and Colin experimental DNA testing techniques.
Colin was acquitted, and Brian was convicted on the slimmest of circumstantial evidence when the State’s forensic witness stated that only Brian’s DNA was found on matches and a phone in the partially burnt car used in the Massereene attack.
Likewise Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton where similarly convicted based primarily on the evidence of a highly dubious eye witness named only as M.
Brian Shivers’ fought an appeal and had the original conviction quashed earlier this year, the PPS moved almost immediately to retry him even though they had no new evidence to back up their case.

Shocking new evidence came to light during the retrial in which it was learned that the truth regarding the forensic analysis had been either hidden or lied about by the original forensic witness, it turned out to be the case that the items recovered from the car namely a phone and matches were covered in multiple DNA profiles this clearly undermined  further the case against Brian Shivers.

Rather than concede that Brian was an innocent man the PPS brought further charges of aiding and abetting, again with no new evidence.

Today Brian Shivers was rightly acquitted based on the lack of evidence presented, it has been a terrible ordeal for the man who is severely ill. His lawyer rightly pointed out that the case against Brian Shivers has been a serious miscarriage of Justice.

The questions now needing answered is who is controlling the justice system in the north of Ireland? Following the revelations in Brian’s case and following the clear attempt to sabotage the appeals of the Craigavon Two. Who is answerable? Who will stand trial for perjury? Who will investigate the investigators during the original arrests and convictions in 2009? The politicians and media applauded the justice system following the convictions, those same politicians and media condemned those who were convicted. Following today’s acquittal there is an eerie silence from those same politicians once so vocal.

Something stinks to high heaven in the Justice system and unless it is fixed more and more people will fall victim to this corrupt system.

Signed PRO, JFTC2

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