Top English cop probing past, blasts Boris amnesty bid

Posted By: August 13, 2021


Michael Jackson.

Friday, August 12, 2021

The head of an investigations unit that is probing more than 200 ‘Troubles’ killings has said the British Government must not remove the prospect of prosecutions in legacy cases.


Former Bedfordshire Police Chief Jon Boutcher, who now leads Operation Kenova, spoke at last night’s Féile an Phobail “Dealing With the Past” event, where he slammed Tory plans to introduce a statute of limitations on paramilitary and ‘security force’ murders.


Operation Kenova was launched after the RUC failed to investigate 18 murders linked to IRA infiltrator and British agent Stakeknife. It is now investigating over 200 murders.


Mr. Boutcher told a Féile audience that his team has submitted 31 files with “compelling evidence” to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).


He said families who have files with the PPS should have their cases “play out (in the) current system”, which will allow for prosecutions if necessary.


Speaking about the British Government’s amnesty plans, Mr. Boutcher said: “I would hope that the Secretary of State and Northern Ireland Office are listening to the overwhelming narrative that there are concerns about this, and at the very least because families have been let down repeatedly, false promises have been made to them, and again and again they have been not delivered upon.


“I have real concerns about a statute of limitations because it’s against everything I’ve ever stood for, the rule of law,” he said.


Mr. Boutcher said that both Operation Kenova and the recent inquest into the Ballymurphy Massacre proved that “legacy is doable” and promised to tell families what his team has found.


“Most of them (families) are very realistic,” he said. “Most know any prosecutions are highly unlikely because these cases occurred so long ago.”


He said taking away “the prospect of a prosecution (sends) all the wrong messages”.


“What does it say to victims about the value of their loved one’s life?” he added.