Brendan Lillis: Amnesty International Northern Ireland

August 1, 2011

We vote for Justice and we call Amnesty International not to be selective in its fight for human rights.
We call Amnesty International to talk Justice Minister Ford about the release of Brendan Lillis on medical and humanitarian grounds.

Publish or comment:

Amnesty International USA Non-profit organisation · New York, New York https://www.facebook.com/amnestyusa?ref=ts

Amnesty International Government organisation · Worlds End Creek, South Australia, Australia https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amnesty-International/30320760152?ref=ts

Amnesty International-Ireland Non-governmental organisation (NGO) · Dublin, Ireland https://www.facebook.com/amnestyinternationalireland?ref=ts

Amnesty International Belgique Non-profit organisation · Brussels, Belgium https://www.facebook.com/amnestyBE?ref=ts

Amnesty International https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2204782184&ref=ts

Amnesty International Interest https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amnesty-International/107376439296877?ref=ts

Amnesty International – Italia https://www.facebook.com/AmnestyInternationalItalia

Amnesty International UK Non-profit organisation https://www.facebook.com/AmnestyUK

Amnesty International Northern Ireland
Non-profit organisation · Belfast, United Kingdom
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amnesty-International-Northern-Ireland/109850892443666?sk=wall

Photo: Justice Minister David Ford of Northern Ireland, participating to the Human Rights campaign ‘I vote for Justice’ of Amnesty International Northern Ireland.

– Friends of Brendan Lillis: https://www.facebook.com/group​s/Friends.Of.Brendan.Lillis/
– Roisin Lynch speaking for the release of her partner Brendan Lillis: http://youtu.be/lrVDu_fnKtE

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14 Responses to “Brendan Lillis: Amnesty International Northern Ireland”

  1. kruitvat Says:

    Belfast Telegraph Editorial – Brendan Lillis – A vengeful society is not the answer

    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    There is no doubt that Brendan Lillis is an ill man with a very disabling spinal condition. Those who have seen him in Magheraberry Prison can testify to the deterioration in his health and pressure from his supporters mounts on Justice Minister David Ford to intervene and have him released. This newspaper finds Mr Lillis’ past terrorist activity abhorrent but, nevertheless, feels that there is something disquieting about his case.

    He served 16 years of a life sentence for republican terrorist offences in the past – a considerable stretch by any measure – before being released on licence in 1993. That licence was revoked when he was arrested on robbery charges in 2009 and, although the authorities deem him too ill to stand trial, he remains in jail and his application for release on compassionate grounds was turned down by the independent parole commissioners last week.

    While it is accepted that society has the right to judge and punish wrong-doing, it has to be borne in mind that the allegations made against this prisoner are, as yet, unproven. Whatever the opinion of the Secretary of State who revoked his licence, Mr Lillis is innocent of the charges he faces until a conviction is obtained in court. Sometimes society has to show that it is of a different order to those who attack it. Mr Lillis’ crimes in the past were reprehensible, but a vengeful society is not the answer.

    There is a secondary consideration. Some on the republican fringes are already portraying Mr Lillis as a potential martyr, trying to resurrect the images of the hunger-strikers. While that agitation is not an imperative for action in this case, nevertheless the authorities can claim moral superiority by releasing this prisoner. If his condition improves then he can face the charges against him in court and be judged on the evidence.

    Little seems to be served by keeping him incarcerated at this point. Certainly his reputation as a danger to the public no longer seems valid.

    http://www.irishrepublican.net/forum/showthread.php?76085-Belfast-Telegraph-Editorial-Brendan-Lillis-A-vengeful-society-is-not-the-answer
    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/op…#ixzz1U2hYNFz9

  2. kruitvat Says:

    Brendan Lillis campaigners in ‘sack David Ford’ call
    By Deborah McAleese
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    Supporters of gravely ill republican prisoner Brendan Lillis have called for the Justice Minister to be removed from office over his refusal to release the former IRA bomber on compassionate grounds.

    David Ford has said he had been advised there were not sufficient grounds to free Lillis, who is suffering from a debilitating arthritic disease that causes the bones in his spine to fuse.

    Mr Ford said that he had reassurances from medical staff at Maghaberry that Lillis was receiving adequate care in the prison hospital.

    A group campaigning for Lillis’s release said yesterday it no longer had confidence in Mr Ford as Justice Minister.

    Lillis is a former life sentence prisoner who was returned to jail in 2009 after his licence was revoked when he was arrested in connection with a tiger kidnapping. He has never been convicted of the crime because he was deemed too unfit to stand trial because of his ill-health.

    He is said to have been confined to his bed in Maghaberry Prison for more than 600 days, with his weight plummeting to under six stone.

    His partner Roisin Lynch has said she fears he will die in prison.

    On Wednesday a delegation of Lillis’s supporters, including Sinn Fein and SDLP representatives, presented the minister with an independent medical report – carried out by a consultant psychiatrist from the Irish United Nations Association – that expressed concerns he would die in prison due to the condition he is suffering.

    However, Mr Ford said that the advice he is being given does not suggest that Lillis would receive better treatment in an outside hospital.

    Background

    Last week the parole commissioners ruled that republican prisoner Brendan Lillis, who is seriously ill in Maghaberry jail, was not suitable for release on compassionate grounds. His family and supporters say he could die in jail and are pressurising the Justice Minister to free him.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/brendan-lillis-campaigners-in-sack-david-ford-call-16032660.html

  3. kruitvat Says:

    Ford refuses release of Brendan Lillis

    There have been demands for the resignation of Six-County Justice Minister David Ford after he rejected an appeal by the broad nationalist community for the release of a dying prisoner today.

    Brendan Lillis suffers from a crippling disease of the skeletal system known as Ankylosing Spondilitis. A former political prisoner, he was interned by an edict of the British government two years.

    His partner Roisin Lynch was accompanied at a meeting with the Justice Minister this afternoon by Jennifer McCann of Sinn Fein and the SDLP’s Colum Eastwood and Tim Atwood.

    At the meeting, Roisin handed the Minister a letter from the Vice President of the European Parliament Roberta Angelilli, in which she said she suspected the Stormont administration had violated Brendan’s fundamental human rights.

    Roisin also read an extract from an independent medical report on Brendan’s illness.

    “Mr Lillis’s condition gives cause for very serious concern,” the doctor’s report read. “I believe he will die in Maghaberry prison because he is suffering with an advanced condition which requires specialist and ongoing attention.

    “The man who was over 6 ft tall is now under 6 stone and is drifting in out of conscious.

    “His cognitive abilities are severely compromised and his medication also contributes to his mental confusion. He quite clearly poses no risk to others as he is himself at imminent risk of death in his place of detention.”

    Nevertheless, Ford, who is leader of the pro-unionist Alliance Party, dismissed the appeals and said that he would seek additional independent medical advice. He told Roisin that he was not responsible for Brendan’s continued incarceration.

    “The department refers the cases of recalled life sentence prisoners to the independent parole commissioners who will direct the prisoner’s release on licence if satisfied that the prisoner does not pose a risk of serious harm to the public,” he said.

    “As with any life sentence prisoner who has been recalled to prison, Mr Lillis’s case has been referred to the commissioners.”

    Last week, parole commissioners who reviewed the case ruled Brendan would not be released on compassionate grounds and even suggested he could commit new offences.

    Ford today also again today that Brendan’s health needs were being met inside Maghaberry’s medical unit.

    His refusal to release the former blanketman and his denial of responsibility has shocked and outraged supporters, who had hoped today would mark the beginning of the end to Brendan’s agony.

    The SDLP said “the power is in the hands of David Ford and he must make the right decision and do so immediately. Brendan Lillis is not a threat to society and should be allowed home.”

    Councillor Eastwood commended the manner in which Roisin “has taken her campaign and carried it with dignity for her loved one”.

    He said her partner cannot be allowed to die in jail.

    “The devolution of justice powers was a welcome step, as justice minister David Ford can make another welcome step. He should do so without delay.”

    Posted by Jim on August 4, 2011

    http://brooklynirish.com/?p=1895

  4. kruitvat Says:

    David Ford meets partner of prisoner Brendan Lillis
    3 August 2011

    Justice Minister David Ford has met with Roisin Lynch, the partner of republican life sentence prisoner Brendan Lillis.

    Lillis suffers from a severe arthritic condition.

    Last week, parole commissioners ruled he would not be released on compassionate grounds.

    Mr Ford said he would invite Mr Lillis’s legal team to make further representations on the case for compassionate release.

    Lillis was sentenced to life in 1977 on explosives charges but was released on licence in 1993. It was revoked in 2009 after he was re-arrested on robbery charges.

    The reason given was that he was “a danger to the public” and he was told he would have to serve the rest of his original life sentence at Maghaberry Prison.

    Earlier this year, it was decided Lillis was too ill to stand trial, although he could face charges if his health improves.

    On 19 July, the Prison Service said there were not sufficient grounds to justify his release on compassionate grounds.

    The case was then passed for consideration by the parole commissioners.

    Mr Ford confirmed he has received advice on the issue of compassionate release for Mr Lillis.

    ‘Compassionate grounds’
    The minister told Ms Lynch that he was seeking additional independent medical advice and would invite Mr Lillis’s legal team to make further representations on the case for compassionate release.

    Mr Ford said: “I used today’s meeting with Ms Lynch to explain the legal position in relation to the release of a prisoner on compassionate grounds and my role and responsibilities as justice minister.

    “The department refers the cases of recalled life sentence prisoners to the independent parole commissioners who will direct the prisoner’s release on licence if satisfied that the prisoner does not pose a risk of serious harm to the public.

    “As with any life sentence prisoner who has been recalled to prison, Mr Lillis’s case has been referred to the commissioners.”

    The minister also told Ms Lynch that he has been updated on Mr Lillis’s medical condition and his current state of health.

    “I am satisfied that the Northern Ireland Prison Service and its health care partners in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust are managing Mr Lillis’s full health care needs,” he said.

    Ms Lynch was accompanied by MLAs Jennifer McCann of Sinn Fein and the SDLP’s Colum Eastwood.

    Mr Ford also met representatives of Cardinal Sean Brady on Wednesday.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14395241

  5. kruitvat Says:

    Free Brendan Lillis

    Northern Ireland – Brendan Lillis Case – The strategy of the Northern Ireland Justice Minister Ford…

    It is clear that Ford’s strategy in the dramatical case of the terminally ill Brendan Lillis in Maghaberry prison of Northern Ireland, is to keep everyone on the line.
    Some weeks ago Ford promised a meeting which everyone hopefully waited. On 19 July, the Prison Service said there were ‘not sufficient grounds to justify his release on compassionate grounds’. The case was then passed for consideration by the parole commissioners.
    Last week, parole commissioners who reviewed the case ruled Brendan would not be released on compassionate grounds and even suggested he could commit new offences.
    Wednesday, Brendan Lillis’ partner Roisin Lynch and representatives of Sinn Fein and SDLP, presented the minister with an independent medical report that expressed concerns Brendan would die in prison due to the condition he is suffering. Ford replied that he was ‘seeking additional independent medical advice and would invite Mr Lillis’s legal team to make further representations on the case for compassionate release’.
    —-
    Photo: Brendan Lillis, dying in Maghaberry prison of Northern Ireland. On 22 May 2011 a 21-year-old man became the third person to die in Northern Ireland’s prisons that month. His body was found at Maghaberry jail. This death marked the 29th (officially) at the prison since Prisoner Ombudsman Pauline McCabe took up her post in 2005.

    Roisin Lynch speaking for the release of her partner Brendan Lillis: http://youtu.be/lrVDu_fnKtE
    Brendan Lillis petition: http://www.petitionspot.com/pe​titions/releaseBrendylilli

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Brendan-Lillis/144821105600808?ref=ts

  6. kruitvat Says:

    Justice Minister David Ford today met with Roisin Lynch, the partner of life sentence prisoner Brendan Lillis.
    Wednesday, 3 August 2011

    “I used today’s meeting with Ms Lynch to explain the legal position in relation to the release of a prisoner on compassionate grounds and my role and responsibilities as Justice Minister.” Minister of Justice David Ford MLA, Northern Ireland Department of Justice
    ——-
    The Minister confirmed that he has received advice on the issue of compassionate release for Mr Lillis and, in line with his responsibilities under the legislation, is continuing to keep the issue under consideration.
    The Minister informed Ms Lynch that he is seeking additional independent medical advice and will invite Mr Lillis’s legal team to make further representations on the case for compassionate release.

    David Ford said: “I used today’s meeting with Ms Lynch to explain the legal position in relation to the release of a prisoner on compassionate grounds and my role and responsibilities as Justice Minister.

    “The Department refers the cases of recalled life sentence prisoners to the independent Parole Commissioners who will direct the prisoner’s release on licence if satisfied that the prisoner does not pose a risk of serious harm to the public. As with any life sentence prisoner who has been recalled to prison, Mr Lillis’s case has been referred to the Commissioners.

    “In addition, under the legislation I can look at the issue of compassionate release and I am continuing to keep that under review.

    “To inform me of all the facts in this case, I have asked for additional independent medical advice and will invite Mr Lillis’s legal team to make fresh representations on why he should be considered for compassionate release.

    “I will also make that information available to the Parole Commissioners.”

    Under Article 7 of the Life Sentences (Northern Ireland) Order 2001, the Minister may release a life sentence prisoner on licence if he is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist which justify the prisoner’s release on compassionate grounds. Before releasing a prisoner, the Minister has to consult the Parole Commissioners, unless circumstances make that impracticable.

    The Minister also confirmed to Ms Lynch that he has been updated on Mr Lillis’s medical condition and his current state of health.

    David Ford said: “I am satisfied that the Northern Ireland Prison Service and its healthcare partners in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust are managing Mr Lillis’ full health care needs.”

    The complexity of this case has highlighted the lack of guidance available to a Minister when considering the issue of compassionate release, and the Department of Justice will develop a policy on this sensitive issue.

    David Ford said: “Since this legislation was introduced a decade ago, it has been used on only two occasions. In one case, a prisoner died shortly after being released and in the other, the health care needs of the individual could no longer be managed in a prison setting.

    “This case highlights the need to publish a robust and transparent policy on compassionate release. I will be asking my officials to work with the Justice Committee to take this forward when the Committee resumes.”

    Notes to editors

    Ms Lynch was accompanied by MLAs Jennifer McCann and Colm Eastwood. The Minister also met representatives of Cardinal Sean Brady today.
    Brendan Lillis was released from prison in March 1993 having served over 16 years of four life sentences following his conviction of four separate bombing charges in 1976.
    He was re-arrested in October 2009 on new charges and his life licence was revoked by the then Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, in November 2009.
    The charges against Mr Lillis in connection to his re-arrest in 2009 were not proceeded with as the court took the view he was not fit to stand trial. The charges remain against him.
    The Parole Commissioners are an independent body to make decisions on the release of all life sentence prisoners in Northern Ireland. Hearings are private and information about the proceedings may not be made public.
    Media enquires should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.

    http://www.dojni.gov.uk/in​dex/media-centre/minister-​meets-with-partner-of-bren​dan-lillis.htm

  7. kruitvat Says:

    European Committee for the Prevention of Torture
    cptdoc@coe.int

    European Committee for the prevention of Torture
    President of the commision, Mt Mauro Palma
    Route de Ferney 10, P.O.Box 2267, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

    Dear Sir,

    Brendan Lillis is currently a prisoner in Maghaberry Prison where he is serving a sentence for explosive offences in 1976. Brendan suffers from the condition ankylosing spondylitis and has been confined to bed for the best part of the past two years (as of today 27th July 2011 it is 620 days)
    Brendan Lillis is no threat to anybody. Brendan Lillis is dying and has been abandoned by an entire political system which is more interested in making statements about his condition than in applying their political power to remedy the situation.
    I am asking for you to please intervene in this case to stop the torture of this man and of all prisoners in Maghaberry because unfortunately Brendan’s case is only the tip of the iceberg in the long and neverending list of Human Rights abuses and torture practised on a daily basis within the prison.
    I am calling for the immediate release of Brendan Lillis to his partner Roisin so that whatever time Brendan has left on this earth be spent with his immediate family.
    Brendan Lillis can not walk; he can not get up from his bed. He is incapacitated, and he is being left alone to die in a prison cell. We have seen enough of our people die in prison cells and find the manner in which Brendan is being treated as an obscenity.
    Time is fast running out for Brendan Lillis and he should be released immediately.
    The Northern Irish Justice Minister, the Stormont Government and the Parole Board have all decided to allow this man, who has been charged with no crime nor sentenced by no judge, to die alone in a prison bed because of his political beliefs. Please do not allow this to continue.

    Yours Sincerely


    (The Committee is aware of the situation of Brendan Lillis but, as Amnesty International, was covering up the case)

  8. kruitvat Says:

    UTV News – McGuinness in new plea over prisoner
    Sunday, 7 August 2011

    The deputy First Minister has raised the case of a republican prisoner who is seriously ill in Maghaberry with the Irish Government.

    The deputy First Minister has raised the case of a republican prisoner who is seriously ill in Maghaberry with the Irish Government.
    Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness is appealing for them to use their influence to ensure Brendan Lillis is released immediately.

    He said: “I made it clear to the Irish Govenment that the use of prisoner licencing and the revoking of licences on occasion by the British Secretary of State amounts to internment without trial.

    “It is this mechanism that sees the further detention of Brendan Lillis and is undoubtedly a complicating factor in this case.”

    Justice Minister David Ford has resisted pressure from Mr Lillis’s family and Sinn Féin for him to be released.

    The 59-year-old is in prison because his political licence was revoked when he was re-arrested in connection with a tiger kidnapping – but authorities say he is unfit to stand trial.

    The west Belfast man was previously behind bars in the 1970s for explosives charges.

    http://www.u.tv/News/McGuinness-in-new-plea-over-prisoner/d5823e59-52b8-4195-a4ab-8638b0b97e9f#.Tj6XvGO4wDo.facebook

  9. kruitvat Says:

    Media

    ‘Ford strategy stokes the fires of dissident discord’
    Belfast Telegraph 6/08/11

    The Justice Minister’s delay in granting Brendan Lillis compassionate release risks handing the renegade republicans another martyr to exploit. He should think again, says Observer’s Belfast correspondent Henry McDonald
    ——

    David Ford is an intelligent, erudite and well-read man, so presumably he will recognise this quote from European history. Talleyrand, the great survivor of the French Revolution, is credited with saying of the Bourbon monarchy that “they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing”.

    Talleyrand’s scathing remark was prompted by the unwillingness of the Bourbons to take any lessons from recent history. They had been deposed from power in the 1789 revolution, but were restored as kings when Napoleon fell. But, in spite of the legacy of the revolution lasting, with its ideas of liberalism and democracy, the Bourbons failed to adapt to changing times.

    By so doing, they heralded in the future revolutionary upheavals of 1848. Indeed, in resisting moving with change, or learning from history, the Bourbons doomed the institution of monarchy in France and restored republicanism as the core creed of the state to this day.

    History, of course, is never repeated in neat patterns, but there are still lessons to be gleaned even from the recent past – including our own.

    At present, a 59-year-old republican prisoner is confined to his bed because of a severe medical condition. Brendan Lillis is a former Provisional IRA member who was sentenced to life in 1977 on explosives charges and was released from the Maze in 1993.

    Two years ago, Lillis was returned to jail – this time to Maghaberry prison, where he faced charges relating to kidnapping and robbery. But Lillis was so ill from a debilitating form of arthritis that he has since been declared unfit to stand trial.

    In spite of a serious deterioration in Lillis’ health this summer, the Life Sentence Review Commission has refused to release him on compassionate grounds.

    Leading the campaign for his release has, of course, been the prisoner’s family, but he has also received support from, among others, the two sisters of IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands and a wide range of republican organisations – from Sinn Fein to the 32 County Sovereignty Committee.

    Opposing any early release for Lillis has been the DUP MP Gregory Campbell, who has demanded that Justice Minister David Ford and the Prison Service keep him incarcerated. Thus far at least, it appears the authorities appear to be listening to Campbell and the DUP rather than Lillis’ family and supporters.

    Such is the mounting concern over Lillis’ fate within the wider republican community that Sinn Fein called this week for Ford to instruct the prison authorities to free the gravely-ill inmate.

    Aside from obvious non-partisan humanitarian concerns, the party can clearly see the potential of a mini-political crisis coming down the line if Lillis was to die in jail.

    Dissident republicans (both those who support the continuation of armed campaigns and those who call for a non-violent political alternative to Sinn Fein) will argue that their prime concern is for the welfare of the prisoner.

    Yet they will be all-too-aware of the emotional charge prisoners can exercise over the northern nationalist community.

    It was, of course, the prison struggle starting with the blanket protest and climaxing in the death-fasts of 1981 that, paradoxically, galvanised the Provisionals and built up a vast coalition of support across that community.

    Even prior to the Maze hunger strikes of the early 1980s, prison controversies – from the torture of inmates inside Long Kesh, to the force-feeding of the Price sisters and the death of Frank Stagg on a sole hunger-strike – created a well of grievance and bitterness towards the British like never before.

    These days, of course, the walls on the streets off the Falls are not adorned with murals celebrating the prison struggles of the current crop of republican inmates defying the political consensus.

    There are no painted images of support for, say, Gerry McGeough (the ex-IRA gunrunner inexplicably serving time in jail for a pre-Good Friday Agreement attempted murder – a crime other former Provos that are on-message with Sinn Fein have been pardoned for). Nor are there images of Marian Price.

    The dissidents, whether they are inside jail or outside, have nothing like the levels of support the IRA and INLA prisoners commanded back in 1980-81. The political atmosphere in Northern Ireland is radically transformed, with northern nationalists generally happy with a political power-sharing arrangement alongside unionists.

    And, after years of war-weariness, the appetite within the republican/nationalist community for a resumption of ‘armed struggle’ is negligible.

    Yet there is always danger in complacency – especially when it comes to such an emotionally-charged subject as a republican prisoner potentially close to death inside a British jail.

    Dissidents of all hues will protest vehemently that they are doing their utmost to save Lillis’ life by securing his release and will welcome support from any quarter – republican, nationalist, socialist, liberal, even unionist – to get him out of prison.

    Nonetheless, if this veteran republican were to pass away inside Maghaberry, it would undoubtedly create a new martyr in the Irish republican pantheon and produce a new focal point for violent protest and disorder in areas where the dissidents have some presence.

    The former IRA prisoner turned writer Anthony McIntyre has compared the authorities’ attitude to playing Russian Roulette with Brendan Lillis’ health.

    McIntyre has, of late, likened their refusal to free him on health grounds as akin to holding a revolver to the prisoner’s head and clicking constantly on the trigger, with the number of empty chambers in the gun running out.

    In fact, that analogy can be turned around, or at least pointed downwards. Because, by engaging in a mortal gamble with this inmate, the authorities are in peril, at the very least, of shooting themselves in the foot.

  10. kruitvat Says:

    Marian Price

    Marian Price bids to have Massereene charge dropped
    BBC News 5/08/11

    A republican will attempt to use a pardon she got 30 years ago to have a new charge linked to the murders of two soldiers thrown out, a court has heard.

    A lawyer for Marian Price, 57, said a copy of the pardon has not been obtained despite a request to the NIO.

    Price has been charged with providing property, namely a mobile phone, for the purposes of terrorism.

    Two men are due to stand trial for the murders of Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey in March 2009.

    Price is to mount an abuse of process application in a bid to have the case against her dismissed.

    It is claimed the decision to charge her was linked to a planned challenge to a decision by the Secretary of State to revoke her previous release from prison.

    Price is currently beind held in the hospital wing of Maghaberry Prison.

    She did not appear for Friday’s hearing at Belfast Magistrates’ Court which was to fix a date for the abuse of process application and committal proceedings.

    Her solicitor, Peter Corrigan told the court: “As part of that application we had written to the NIO seeking a copy of the actual pardon that was conferred on the defendant in 1981.

    “To this date the NIO still have not served that important document on us, and it is central to us making an abuse of process application.”

    The defence case is that terms of the pardon covered all of the offences for which Price was convicted in 1974, Mr Corrigan added.

    Her lawyers are understood to be seeking to establish there was no power for the licence to be revoked.

    The judge stressed that anything required to mount the argument should be provided by the authorities.

    Mr Corrigan also confirmed that the defence would not object to anonymity being granted to one witness in the case.

    That witness is from The Samaritans helpline service.

    The case will be reviewed again later this month.

  11. kruitvat Says:

    Media

    Brendan Lillis campaigners in ‘sack David Ford’ call
    Belfast Telegraph 5/08/11

    Supporters of gravely ill republican prisoner Brendan Lillis have called for the Justice Minister to be removed from office over his refusal to release the former IRA bomber on compassionate grounds.

    David Ford has said he had been advised there were not sufficient grounds to free Lillis, who is suffering from a debilitating arthritic disease that causes the bones in his spine to fuse.

    Mr Ford said that he had reassurances from medical staff at Maghaberry that Lillis was receiving adequate care in the prison hospital.

    A group campaigning for Lillis’s release said yesterday it no longer had confidence in Mr Ford as Justice Minister.

    Lillis is a former life sentence prisoner who was returned to jail in 2009 after his licence was revoked when he was arrested in connection with a tiger kidnapping. He has never been convicted of the crime because he was deemed too unfit to stand trial because of his ill-health.

    He is said to have been confined to his bed in Maghaberry Prison for more than 600 days, with his weight plummeting to under six stone.

    His partner Roisin Lynch has said she fears he will die in prison.

    On Wednesday a delegation of Lillis’s supporters, including Sinn Fein and SDLP representatives, presented the minister with an independent medical report – carried out by a consultant psychiatrist from the Irish United Nations Association – that expressed concerns he would die in prison due to the condition he is suffering.

    However, Mr Ford said that the advice he is being given does not suggest that Lillis would receive better treatment in an outside hospital.

    Background

    Last week the parole commissioners ruled that republican prisoner Brendan Lillis, who is seriously ill in Maghaberry jail, was not suitable for release on compassionate grounds. His family and supporters say he could die in jail and are pressurising the Justice Minister to fee him.

  12. kruitvat Says:

    Media:

    MP hits out at ‘political pressure’ in Lillis case
    News Letter 5/08/11

    A DUP MP has slammed “political interference” in the campaign to free republican prisoner Brendan Lillis.

    Mr Lillis was sentenced to life in prison in 1977 on IRA explosives charges but was released on licence in 1993. It was revoked in 2009 after he was arrested on robbery charges.

    He suffers from a severe arthritic condition and is reported to have been confined to his prison bed for 600 days.

    Yesterday, East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said he was “concerned” by the “concerted pressure” from republican and nationalist politicians who have called on justice minister David Ford to release the prisoner on compassionate grounds.

    “There seems to be growing number of politicians who are now getting involved in this case, and I don’t think it is right that they should seek to use their influence in this case,” said Mr Campbell.

    “I fully accept that the family of Mr Lillis are very concerned about his health, and it is understandable that they should seek to have him released from prison, no-one would dispute that.

    “But this is for the justice minister to decide and I do not think that Sinn Fein and the SDLP should be pressurising Mr Ford on this emotive issue when he [David Ford] is bound within the framework of the law, which we have all signed up for.”

    The charges against Mr Lillis in connection to his re-arrest in 2009 were not proceeded with as the court took the view he was not fit to stand trial. The charges remain against him.

    Mr Ford said he had reassurances from medical staff at Maghaberry that Brendan Lillis was receiving adequate care at the prison hospital.

    On Wednesday, the justice minister met with Lillis’s partner, Roisin Lynch.

    The minister said he informed Ms Lynch that he is seeking additional independent medical advice and will invite Lillis’s legal team to make further representations on the case for compassionate release.

    “I am satisfied that the Northern Ireland Prison Service and its healthcare partners in the south eastern health and social care trust are managing Mr Lillis’s full health care needs,” Mr Ford said.

    However, Ms Lynch rejected the suggestion he was receiving adequate care in jail.

    “We’re on the humanitarian side of this now. We’re not talking about freeing Brendan Lillis, we are talking about saving Brendan Lillis,” she told the BBC.

    “My campaign has now changed focus, we are actually trying to save his life.”

    Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann said Lillis needed medical attention in an outside hospital.

    “Brendan Lillis should be released on compassionate and humanitarian grounds now and allowed to be admitted to an outside hospital where he can receive proper medical care,” she said.

    The SDLP’s Colum Eastwood added: “The power is in the hands of David Ford and he must make the right decision and do so immediately. Brendan Lillis is not a threat to society and should be allowed home.”

    http://www.troopsoutmovement.com/latestnews.htm

  13. kruitvat Says:

    Parole Commission must act immediately on Brendan Lillis – Maskey – Sinn Féin 4/8/11

    Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey has called on the Parole Commission to meet as a matter of urgency and to release Brendan Lillis.

    Speaking today Mr Maskey said:
    “The Justice Minister, David Ford, despite legal advice to the contrary, has claimed that he does not have the power to release Brendan Lillis. He says that this is the responsibility of the Parole Commission.
    “Jennifer McCann and Fra McCann, who have both visited Brendan Lillis this week state clearly that Mr Lillis’ health is deteriorating.
    “There must not to be any further delay in this case. The Parole Commission needs to meet as a matter of urgency and make the right decision on this particular case.
    “Mr Lillis should be released immediately in order to secure the necessary care that he requires.”

    http://www.troopsoutmovement.com/latestnews.htm

  14. kruitvat Says:

    Brendan Lillis, a Victim of Sick System
    Éirígí 4/08/11

    éirígí general secretary Breandán MacCionnaith has slammed the indifference of Six County justice minister David Ford to the plight of Maghaberry prisoner Brendan Lillis.
    Following a meeting with Lillis’ partner, Roisin Lynch, yesterday [Wednesday], Ford again claimed there were no grounds for his release.
    MacCionnaith said: “Brendan Lillis is a critically ill man interned in prison on the word of a British secretary of state – if David Ford can see no grounds for his release he is willfully blind.
    “Brendan Lillis has already suffered enough at the hands of the British state. He spent 17 years in prison as a result of the conflict and has now been confined to a bed in a cramped prison cell for more than 600 days due to a crippling bone disease. He is in no way mobile, he cannot eat and he has failing eyesight. It is absurd for anyone to suggest this man is a threat to the public.”
    MacCionnaith added: “Over the last few months, David Ford has proven beyond doubt that any commitment he claims towards human rights is a sham and a lie. Like many who went before him charged with implementing British injustice in Ireland, he is capable of acting only callously and ruthlessly.
    “Every week that passes produces further evidence that the institutions at Stormont are incapable of delivering equality and human rights for nationalists and republicans. The case of Brendan Lillis is but the latest example.
    “Brendan Lillis must not be allowed to die in jail. It is imperative that all those with an interest in human rights act now to increase the pressure on the Stormont regime.”

    http://www.troopsoutmovement.com/latestnews.htm


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