When one thinks of the separation of powers, it is astonishing to think that the PPS would offer a blackmailer a deal- so as to protect the First Minister from political embarrassment.
The trial of John Clarke, Christopher Notarintonio and William Barker was a strange one. Three CIRA members were charged with blackmailing ‘witness A’.
On the final day of the trial the legal team of John Clarke were about to make an application for the identity of witness A to be revealed when suddenly the PPS buckled and offered John Clarke a sweetheart deal.
This shocking turn of events allegedly had a much greater political purpose- and that was to protect the First Minister of the Country from yet more political embarrassment.
So who was witness A? And why would he have embarrassed the First Minister?
Witness A was a drug dealer- a rather famous one, and not for crime- who had been blackmailed by the CIRA due to taped recordings they had made of him discussing some sexual relations with a ‘particular’ public political figure and how this public political figure used to sniff cocaine with him and take E’s during their wild sex sessions.
The CIRA blackmailers used these tapes to blackmail witness A.
The blackmailers said that Hugh Jordan of the Sunday World had heard the tapes and that unless he paid up- Jordan would reveal all in the Sunday world. Hugh Jordan did have the tapes- and probably still does- but did the PSNI seek to retrieve them? Of course not!
In the lead up to and during the trial Hugh Jordan wrote a number of stories in the Sunday World about a particular individual, who had come to prominence in recent years due to a political ‘scandal’. He alleged this young man was a drug dealer and was suicidal, amongst other things.
These stories were a cynical attempt by Jordan, who had essentially been part of the blackmail plot, to smear Witness A and thus assist his friends in the Notarintonio family.
What had transpired was this, the PSNI had been bugging a phone and had heard the conversations. They were aware Witness A had made payments to the CIRA and thus they approached him and offered him a deal- either he helped set up his blackmailers, or else he would be charged. Witness A agreed to set them up.
John Clarke’s legal team were about to request witness A’s identity be revealed and then all of a sudden the PPS buckled, they offered John Clarke a sweetheart deal and Clarke copped a guilty plea and walked away with essentially a slap on the wrists.
Why did the PPS do this? It is quite simple, had witness A’s identity been revealed then it would have allegedly caused major embarrassment to the First Minister Peter Robinson- and given he was already under pressure- the powers that be could not let this happen. So the PPS sacrificed justice to protect the political process.
This is a scandal that goes right to the heart of Government. It is in the public interest that it is exposed and investigated.
I am sure any industrious minds can connect the dots.