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Gerry Adams arrested: 'Malicious' republicans caused arrest, Martin McGuinness claims

Martin McGuinness claims dissidents conspired with police on the ‘dark side’

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister has claimed an alliance of dissident republicans “maliciously” opposed to the peace process conspired with “the dark side” of Northern Ireland’s police force to bring about the arrest of Gerry Adams.

Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander, said Mr Adams – detained for the 1972 murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville – had been the “single most influential figure” in the peace process that ended the Troubles.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland insisted the investigation would be “effective, objective and methodical”, while David Cameron stressed there had been “absolutely no political interference” over Mr Adams’ arrest over the killing of Mrs McConville in December 1972.

However, there was widespread speculation that the arrest was made at least partly on the basis of testimony given in private to Boston College by Brendan Hughes, once the IRA’s commander in Belfast, and other ex-IRA members who are opposed to Mr Adams, but recently released to the authorities after legal action taken in the US.