NI: Director of Public Prosecutions ‘insulted’ by bias claims

NI: Director of Public Prosecutions 'insulted' by bias claims

Northern Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory QC, has said allegations of bias on his part are insulting to him and to his office.

It comes as senior UK politicians accuse him of prioritising prosecutions of former British soldiers for their actions during the Troubles.

In one sensational attack, Sir Gerald Howarth, MP for Aldershot, used parliamentary privilege to label him “the Sinn Féin-supporting Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland”.

Now Mr McGrory has told BBC News that the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) “have prosecuted more legacy cases connected with paramilitary cases than we have in respect of military cases”.

He added: “If they are not trying to influence me then they are certainly being personally insulting, and they are questioning my integrity.

“But what concerns me more about that is that it is insulting to this office and to the lawyers who work here and do their work day and daily with absolute integrity and to the best of their ability.

“So I am personally offended by the remarks, but I am more offended on behalf of the individuals who work for the public prosecution service and who do a fantastic job, so I think those who are making those comments ought to think a bit carefully before they speak in such a way.”

Mr McGrory also repudiated criticism over his professional career as a solicitor, during which time he represented some leading republican figures, including Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

He said: “Anyone who is informed about these matters would know that as a professional lawyer you represent anyone who seeks representation from you.

“I have been a professional lawyer for 30 years, during which period I have represented loyalist paramilitaries, republican paramilitaries, members of the DUP, the Official Unionist Party, members of Sinn Féin.

“I have represented a broad cross-section of people, so who I have represented in the past really has got nothing to do with it.”

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