[Sinn Fein]

10 June 2000

Gerry Adams says corrupt politicians must stand down from public life

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said in Dublin today that politicians found guilty of corruption should be forced to resign from public office and not just their political parties.

Mr Adams emphasised that ``obviously, everyone is entitled to a fair trial'' and he was not commenting on any particular individual case or political party. ``This problem affects more than one party or strand of public and commercial life.''

The Sinn Fein president also called for a register of political lobbyists and ``disclosure in a very transparent way of all monies paid into political parties''.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle, he said:

``Those who fail to disclose, or hide it or try to go underground in the brown envelope culture, should have effective sanctions implemented against them.

``If an ordinary citizen can be held accountable, or a PAYE worker can be prosecuted and their families made to suffer the consequences, then those in high places must also suffer the consequences. And the very least that should happen is that they are deemed not fit to hold public office.

``Well dare anybody who condemns some young person from a poor area or a poor family for committing some small misdemeanour when those people in positions of power in the financial institutions, in big business or the political system are able to get off with what are maybe huge crimes compared to what the ordinary social offender commits.

``What's good enough for the small person should be good enough for the big person.'' ENDS

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