30 October 2008 Edition

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Murphy dismisses reports of CAB settlement

South Armagh republican Tom Murphy has dismissed media reports that he “made a settlement with the Criminal Assets Bureau”. Murphy was reacting to reports published across the media last week that he had agreed to hand over almost £1million to the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in the 26 Counties.
Murphy hit out at the media reports saying:
“It was reported in sections of the media that I made a settlement with the Criminal Assets Bureau.  I wish to state that this is not the case. I did not take part in the proceedings referred to. I had no interest in the proceedings as none of the property in the case concerned belonged to me”.
This latest attempt by British securocrats, using a compliant media, to undermine the South Armagh republican arose after Murphy’s brothers were ordered by the High Court in Dublin to hand over £1million on Friday 17 October 2008.
The media falsely linked Tom Murphy to the settlement saying he was party to the agreement. The 17 October case arose out of an arrest operation on Wednesday 7 November 2007 when Murphy and his brother were arrested as they returned from a GAA match in Dundalk.
Members of the Garda Emergency Response Unit, driving a Northern registered jeep, rammed their car and dragged the brothers from the vehicle, brutalising them in the process. When Murphy appeared at Ardee District Court the following day, 8 November, to face allegations relating to unpaid taxes he was the centre of a media scrum.
Subsequent to Murphy’s arrest the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) in the Six Counties and CAB, backed up by the Gardaí and PSNI,  carried out raids on both sides of the border with Tom Murphy’s family home being the centre of media attention.
Securocrats drip fed friendly journalists with erroneous information indicating they had uncovered a paper trail of criminal investments leading to Tom Murphy.
In a statement released at the time the South Armagh man said, “I do not own any property. The farm depicted in the media is not my home, it is my parents’ home and is owned by another member of my family, and I do not live at that address.
“Those opposed to the Peace Process are obviously hoping that in vilifying me personally and republicanism in general they will scupper attempts to build peace”.
In response to similar events two years previously when the ARA dragged Tom Murphy’s name and reputation into an investigation they launched against a Manchester based businessman Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy called on the, “two governments to sack the securocrats responsible for using their positions in organisations like the ARA to undermine the peace process”.

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