20/10/2008

Troubles' Truth Commission May Sit For Five Years

A new Commission to examine incidents from the Troubles is being recommended by the group looking at ways of dealing with these past atrocities.

Working within a fixed five-year period, terrorists would be granted a form of immunity as part of a 'truth process', according to a draft report that has been circulated today.

Sources with a knowledge of the long-awaited document say it suggests a private "information" forum in which paramilitary killers would be encouraged to divulge what they know about murders. The evidence they provide would not be admissible in court.
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However, the Bradley-Eames 'Consultative Group On The Past' (both men are pictured above) seems to be stopping short of proposing a full amnesty for terrorists.

Instead, these forums would take place only after investigators have advised that no conviction is likely in a case.

The suggested Commission would then ask the families of victims if they want to know details about what happened.

If the families agree, they would then call on those responsible - whether it was paramilitary organisations, the police or army - to come forward and provide details.

There would not be a general amnesty - but those who agree to meet the Commission would be given immunity for the information they provide, meaning it could not be used for prosecutions.

The group hopes to publish its report before Christmas.

(BMcC)

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