Gerry Kelly MLA requested as a defence witness

15/01/2015

Dear Mr Kelly,

I am emailing to request you to voluntarily attend Belfast Magistrates Court on 11th February 2015 to act as a witness for my defence in the case against me which is listed for contest. I will also post a hard copy of this letter to your constituency office, however for expediency I am initially emailing my request.

On a number of occasions in your role as a representative on the Northern Ireland Policing Board you took to task ACC Will Kerr about the weekly walks from East Belfast to City Hall during the Union Flag protests. You stated that these walks were illegal and should be stopped, that is your view and you are entitled to it however what is relevant for my case is how the ACC responded to you. Upon examination of the minutes it is clear that the ACC made clear that the PSNI were not aware of the legislation, indeed you published a blog stating that the PSNI were illegally facilitating weekly walks and saying that the ACC had been unclear about the laws around the Public Processions Act. It is clear from all the minutes of the policing board meetings, as well as public statements issued by yourself, that you- as a policing board member- were given the impression that the PSNI did not have the power to stop the weekly walks. Indeed this position was re-iterated by ACC Will Kerr in an interview he gave to a journalist from the Irish News.

This issue is of vital importance to justice and presumably in your role as a policing board member you would be keen to ensure that justice is done in this case, and indeed every case. You have spoke many times about equality, I believe that I deserve equality under the law, surely you would agree with this?

I would assume that the PSNI will been extremely keen to ensure you do not attend as a witness in this contest- I would however remind you that your civic duty is to serve the citizens of Northern Ireland, not to serve the PSNI or their interests. You clearly said at the time that the PSNI were facilitating what you viewed as illegal processions, therefore I am simply asking you to attend court, as a policing board member and explain how you came to that conclusion.

It is somewhat bizarre that the PSNI now adopt the position that the weekly walks were illegal and they always knew this- if this is indeed the case then they knowingly mis-led the policing board, of which you are a member, by telling them that they were unaware if the walks were illegal or not.

If you take the decision that you will not come to court and perform your civic duty then I will be left with no option but to ask my legal team to seek a witness summons to compel you to attend. I must also place on record that I will be submitting the policing board minutes and blogs written by you as evidence in my defence and therefore I am sure you would be keen to be in court to clarify your position on the matter.

Regards

Jamie Bryson

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