Downey ruling raises questions over Legal Aid system: Campbell

18 December 2019

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has said the ruling that John Downey was an ‘active participant’ in the Hyde Park bombing is a victory for the perseverance of victims.

Gregory Campbell

DUP Spokesman on International Development and Cabinet Office

Gregory Campbell

 He has also raised questions about the legal aid system which refused the case five times.

Mr Campbell said, “This ruling is a victory for the family which brought forward the case and whilst it is not a criminal conviction it does mean that John Downey has been held to account for his role in this atrocity. A criminal conviction may well have been secured but for the so called OTR ‘comfort letters’ that were such an outrage to justice.

Questions must be asked about the Legal Aid system given that relatives were denied legal aid five times before finally being successful. Given that families of those murdered in the Birmingham pub bombings received less in legal aid than the coroner spent on a PR team there must be a fundamental review of the barriers placed in the way of victims receiving some level of justice.

There is an equally fundamental question which must be asked of all political representatives. Will they stand with the relatives of those murdered or will they choose to hide behind ridiculous statements that he should not be challenged because he is a “supporter of the peace process”.

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