Court D-Day for Ian Paisley Jnr

Ian Paisley Jnr was today meeting his solicitors as a High Court deadline ordering him to reveal information on the murder of Billy Wright expired.

The former Northern Irish Junior Minister had been intending to appeal against the ruling over allegations a former prison warder supplied information about procedures at the Maze prison near Belfast where the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) leader was shot dead in 1997.



Mr Paisley, however, today said: “I have not yet lodged any appeal because the courts have been on holiday over Easter.



“A number of issues have arisen in my mind over the last week or so and I am meeting my solicitors this morning to discuss what my options are.



“I intend to make an announcement after that,” he added.



In a statement earlier this month, his solicitor said: “This is the first time that a Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland has been asked to consider the position of an elected public representative under these circumstances and the case has significant implications, not only for our client, but for all elected public representatives in the United Kingdom and indeed Europe.



“The Court of Appeal will be asked to add politicians to the categories of confidentiality along with of journalists, members of the clergy and doctors.”



The north Antrim Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), whose position was supported by First Minister Peter Robinson, said he would go to prison rather than break confidentiality and reveal the identity of the source.



The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader said: “I have every respect for the courts and acknowledge the difficult task that they faced with the issues that this case raises, but the heart of the democratic system of representation is based upon a constituent being able to talk confidentially to an elected representative and that representative being able to challenge authority where necessary. The recent ruling in this case would undermine that key principle”.



Almost two years ago Mr Paisley wrote to Billy Wright's father saying he had received information that the Northern Ireland Prison Service had employed people to destroy about 5,600 files as part of an alleged policy in relation to data protection legislation.



He said this information, which was provided by a “senior prison officer”, claimed that the decision to destroy the files was “taken at the top”.



But in his ruling in March, Mr Justice Gillen said that although it was important for elected representatives to be able to protect the confidentiality of a source, the information played a central part in enabling the inquiry into Mr Wright’s death to determine whether or not it had been facilitated by the prison authorities.

This article is from The Belfast Telegraph

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album