HC Deb 04 February 1985 vol 72 cc383-4W
Mr. McNamara

asked the Attorney-General how many people have been convicted on the evidence of converted terrorist witnesses; in how many cases this evidence was corroborated by other evidence, other than the evidence of another converted terrorist; and in how many cases the evidence of the converted terrorist constituted the sole evidence of the existence of the crime itself.

The Attorney-General

In so far as the question relates to the evidence of accomplices in trials for scheduled offences, the number of persons who were either convicted or pleaded guilty in consequence of evidence given by such accomplices is as follows:

Year Number of persons
1982 4
1983 69
1984 11

In 1984 the convictions of 14 of the persons tried in 1983 were quashed on appeal to the Court of Appeal.

There is no comprehensive record of, and it is not now feasible to identify without disproportionate cost, the

Name(s) of accused Offence(s) charged Venue and date of commencement of trial Result
Brian Keenan Conspiracy to effect escape from prison Central Criminal Court on 17 March 1981 5 defendants convicted
Robert Campbell
Margaret Parrett Firearms offences
Jacqueline O'Malley
Richard Glenholmes
Christine Cambell
Gerard Tuite
Robert Storey
Antonio Sanchez and Luis Garcia Sections 1 and 7 of the Officials Secrets Act 1911 Central Criminal Court on 9 June 1982 Both convicted
Hugh G. Hambleton Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 Central Criminal Court on 29 November 1982 Convicted
John McCombe Conspiracy to cause explosions. Possession of explosive/firearms Central Criminal Court on 9 May 1983 Convicted
Michael Bettaney Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 Central Criminal Court on 10 April 1984 Convicted
Clive Ponting Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 Central Criminal Court on 28 January 1985 Case proceeding
Khaled Mansoor Sections 2 and 3 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883 Manchester Crown Court on 4 February 1985 Case proceeding
Mohammed Shleback
Khalifi Arouzoz
Abu Shnayb

matters which may have been before the court for the purposes of individual charges or whether they were capable of constituting corroboration.

Mr. McNamara

asked the Attorney-General how many people currently await trial on the evidence of converted terrorists; what proportion of these persons have been refused bail; and what is the average period of remand for which persons detained without bail have been held to date after being charged on the evidence of a converted terrorist irrespective of whether that person has yet been brought to trial.

The Attorney-General

There are at present 46 persons awaiting trial whose prosecution has been directed by the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland and in respect of whom the chief constable has furnished evidence which includes the evidence of an alleged accomplice. Of these 46 persons, 25 have been admitted to bail, one did not apply for bail and 20 have been refused bail. Of the 20 persons who have been refused bail, five have been in custody since July 1983, three since August 1983, nine since October 1983 and the remaining three since February, March and April 1984 respectively.