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6 September 2001 Edition

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RUC Colombia trip raises serious questions

Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin reacted angrily this week to the decision by the RUC to go to Colombia in relation to the investigation of the three Irishmen being held there. Ó Caoláin said that the RUC is an entirely discredited force and their involvement in the matter would only heighten fears that these men will not receive a fair hearing.''

``What possible reason do the RUC have for travelling thousands of miles to partake in the investigation involving three Irishmen?'' asked Ó Caoláin. ``Are they going to Colombia with fabricated evidence to back up a case that seems to be collapsing before our very eyes?

``The RUC are a discredited police force. They are held in no confidence amongst nationalists on this island. Their involvement in this matter will only heighten fears that these men will not receive a fair hearing.

``I am calling on the Department of Foreign Affairs to raise this matter immediately with the British government. The RUC do not act impartially in the Six Counties - they will not do so in Colombia either. These three men should be immediately released.''

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