24 November 2005

Man given PSNI warning hits out


A former republican prisoner has hit out at the PSNI’s reluctance to tell him how his details fell into the hands of loyalist paramilitaries.
The republican was visited at his Kashmir Road home by a PSNI officer on Friday morning and handed a letter addressed only to “The Occupier” telling him that loyalist paramilitaries knew his address.
Last week dozens of people were notified that files containing their details were found in the possession of loyalists. It has been widely reported that the details possessed by loyalists were removed from Castlereagh barracks in June 2004.
On that occasion the files relating to as many as 400 people were removed from the notorious former East Belfast interrogation centre.
However, the man contacted does not believe that the PSNI would have had details of his address as the only time that the PSNI have been in his house was last March, nine months after the files were removed from Castlereagh.
On that occasion they had raided the republican’s house in relation to an incident regarding his son, who had never lived at the Kashmir address.
“The house was only raided in March and the files that the loyalist have were stolen before then. How do they have these details of my property?”
He says he is anxious at the distress the incident has caused his family.
“I’m not frightened but my wife is. She fears that they will attack the house, and we have our grandchildren here at the weekends.”
The man is angry that the PSNI officer who delivered the letter refused to tell him anything about the circumstances in which the information was found, or which loyalists possess the details. He is now seeking legal advice on the matter.
“I asked him which loyalist groups have my details and he said ‘I don’t know’. I asked him when the files were lifted and he said ‘I don’t know’.
“They have put our lives in danger so they should inform all 400 named in the files of which loyalist group has the details.
“I should have the right to know everything about it and that is why it is in the hands of my solicitor.”
A PSNI spokesperson refused to discuss incidents which “involved the personal security of individuals.”
Meanwhile members of Republican Sinn Féin and their supporters are being urged to be vigilant after their details were found to be amongst those in the hands of loyalists.
“We in Republican Sinn Féin take these latest threats very seriously and call on our supporters to be vigilant,” said a spokesperson for the group.

Journalist:: Damien McCarney

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