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5 October 2000 Edition

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RUC lists details of nationalists in private book

An RUC man, who had the personal details of up to eight nationalist men from the Short Strand area of Belfast in a private notebook, is currently being investigated by the Independent Commission for Police Complaints (ICPC).

However, solicitors for the men say that if the RUC man in question is not disciplined by the body they will seek a judicial review of the case, especially as the DPP has already decided not to take legal action against the RUC man.

One of the nationalist men involved, Dominic Corr, commenting on the DPP decision said, that ``had anyone else been found with similiar information in a private notebook they would have ended up in court''.

The case against the RUC man arose out of an incident in the Short Strand two years ago, when the RUC moved into the area in force after loyalists returning to the Newtownards, after the Twelfth of July Orange March, rioted in the vicinity.

As well as a number of arrests, some local people were beaten by the RUC and plastic bullets fired.

During the court hearing against eight of those charged, it emerged that an RUC officer involved in the case had a private notebook, separate from his official RUC book, and in which he listed details of the men whom he described as ``potential rioters''.

A spokesperson for solicitors Maddeen and Finucane said the firm has already written to the RUC and the DPP over the case.

``There are a number of questions that must be answered'', said the spokesperson, ``including what factors were taken into account before a decision was made not to prosecute. We will fight on until we get those answers'', stated the spokesperson.
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