Gerry Adams 'will not face prosecution' in connection with the killing of Jean McConville

Local media reports that the Sinn Féin leader will not face charges in connection with the murder of Jean McConville who was shot in 1972

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The Independent Online

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams will not be charged in connection with the murder of Jean McConville, it has been reported.

The politician was questioned by police in May of last year as part of an investigation into the murder of the mother of ten who disappeared in 1972.

The Irish News reports today that the Public Prosecution Service has come to the conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Mr Adams. The newspaper says that a formal announcement by the PPS is expected to be made within days.

Ms McConville’s death became one of the most high profile killings in the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Aged 37, she was kidnapped in front of her children after being wrongly accused of being an informer. She was subsequently shot and secretly buried. Her body was recovered on a beach in County Louth in 2003.

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Helen McKendry holds a family photo with her mother Jean McConville, at home in Killyleagh, Northern Ireland

Allegations were made connecting Mr Adams to the case as part of a history project by Boston College examining the conflict in Northern Ireland. Historians carried out interviews with former paramilitary figures on the understanding that the content would not be revealed until after their deaths. However, following legal action in the United States, the academics were told to hand over the recordings to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Mr Adams was questioned by the PSNI in connection with the crime for four days last May. He strongly denies any involvement in Ms McConville’s death.

In an interview with US broadcasters CBS following his arrest, he said: “I was sick, sore and tired of a tsunami of stories based on these [Boston College] tapes linking me to Mrs McConville’s death. So I contacted the police and said, ‘Look you want to talk to me, I’m here to talk.

“They said I was a senior member of the IRA at managerial level and I was bound to know… I told them I didn’t.”

A spokesperson for The Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland told The Independent: "We are aware of media reports in relation to Gerry Adams which are speculative and premature.

 “No further prosecutorial decisions have been reached in connection with the murder of Jean McConville.  It is anticipated that the processes involved in taking this decision will be concluded before the end of July.”

The Independent has contacted Mr Gerry Adams for comment.