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23 May 2002 Edition

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Brits attempting to turn Saville into farce

Martin McGuinness has slammed the latest attempt by the British Security Services to prevent the truth about Bloody Sunday emerging.

"The revelation that MI5 is attempting to dictate and control the content of evidence to be given by a number of alleged military witnesses to the Saville Inquiry is unacceptable," he said. "It is further evidence that British

military agencies are determined to frustrate the efforts of the families to uncover the truth of why their loved ones were murdered on Bloody Sunday.

"Public Interest Immunity Certificates are being used to protect British military sources - that may or may not even exist - in order to subvert the Inquiry process and prevent the truth about the British Army actions and those of its political masters from emerging.

"Since the establishment of the Inquiry we have had weapons destroyed, failure to co-operate with requests for photographic, helitele and forensic material when requested and screening of RUC and British Army witnesses. Now we have the ludicrous situation of even the families' legal representatives being told that not only may they be excluded while anonymous British agents and informers give evidence but cross examination will be by writing and answers vetted by MI5.

"The lengths to which the British military and political establishment will go in order to continue its cover up has no bounds. I supported the families' quest for the truth since the beginning of their campaign and I will continue to support them in whatever course they choose to follow."

His party colleague, Foyle Assembly member Mitchel McLaughlin said "this is reducing the whole proceedings to farce and its about time Tony Blair stopped this nonsense and delivered what he promised to the families - an open and transparent inquiry with full access to al relevant material".

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