[Sinn Fein]

16th December 2002

Adams and McGuinness meet Stevens Inquiry team

Speaking after meeting with the Steven Inquiry team, which is investigating the role of British double agent Brian Nelson, Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness said:

``Our decision to meet the Stevens Inquiry was taken despite serious reservations about the slowness of the investigation. We are concerned to know how much they know about the plans to kill us as well as the actual killings of others.

``Both Gerry Adams and myself have been targeted at various times by Nelson, as have many other individuals. Neither of us were ever warned or informed of these threats to our lives, and in fact until the Stevens Inquiry, none of the policing services had contacted us about them.

``We do know that the state colluded in the killing and targeting of its citizens. We know that the role of Brian Nelson in the targeting and killing of Catholics was authorised and sanctioned at the highest levels of the Special Branch and British Intelligence.

``We also know that those officers within RUC Special Branch remain in Special Branch today and remain a force within a force. Those within the Special Branch are still exempt from any form of democratic accountability. Indeed, the killing by unionist paramilitaries last December of William Stobie, who threatened to lift the lid on all of this, would indicate that for the Special Branch and their agents within the UDA that it is business as usual.

``The current reforms of policing do not tackle the cancer at the heart of policing. The Special Branch, the primary instrument of collusion, still exists and continues to act with impunity.''

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