Shoot-to-kill” inquest opens after 22 years of lies

Shoot-to-kill” inquest opens after 22 years of lies.
One of the oldest outstanding inquests in the North of Ireland has finally begun in Belfast.

The inquest into the deaths of two Republicans shot dead in an ambush by an elite British Army unit over twenty years ago began on Monday.

Sinn Féin councillor Martin McCaughey and Dessie Grew were killed near Loughgall, County Armagh in October 1990. Both men were Volunteers in the Provisional IRA.

They were shot close to isolated farm outbuildings at Lislasley outside Loughgall. The building had been under surveillance for some time by the SAS (Special Air Service).

It was always believed the pair were victims of Britain’s ‘shoot to kill’ policy of deliberate political assassination.

In May 2011, the Supreme Court in London finally cleared the way for the inquest to begin. It ruled that a coroner must examine the operation that brought about the killings, and should not be restricted only to the physical means of their deaths, as sought by the British authorities.

Speaking before the inquest got underway, Peter McCaughey, brother of Martin, said: “Our family have always believed that our brother Martin was deliberately targeted and murdered by members of the SAS.

“We have waited over 20 years for an inquest into Martin’s death and at last we will have an inquest which investigates not only whether individual soldiers unlawfully killed my brother, but whether the SAS deliberately set out to kill Martin and Dessie Grew.”

“We hope, now that any restrictions on the scope of the Coroner’s investigation have been lifted that we will finally get justice for Martin and Dessie.”

Mural commemorating those killed in the Loughg...

However, the inquest coroner, Brian Sherrard, initally appeared to accept British claims that the SAS unit feared they would be the ones attacked.

“At the time of opening fire they believed that the men were going to fire on them,” the coroner said, opening the inquest.

Evidence from a doctor who examined the deceased said there were arms in the shed where the men were killed.

Karen Quinlivan, a barrister representing the families of the two republicans, challenged the soldiers’ claims that they opened fire to protect themselves — by pointing to the manner of their deaths, shot in the head as they lay injured.

She told a soldier witness at the Belfast inquest: “After the two men had fallen to the ground in circumstances where they were clearly wounded by high-velocity rounds which you will acknowledge are extremely damaging, ‘Soldier D’ fired two shots into Dessie Grew as he lay face down lying on the ground and it appears also fired a third shot into Martin McCaughey’s head, the fatal shot into Martin McCaughey’s head, as he lay on his back on the ground.”

An individual known only as ‘Soldier J’ — put forward as an expert in training SAS soldiers but who was not involved in the Loughgall operation — said an SAS unit may still feel under threat even if their target is wounded.

Ms Quinlivan said: “You seem to be suggesting that it is soldiers’ practice to finish off wounded men?’

‘Soldier J’ responded: “It is in the soldier’s mind that if he is approaching someone that may be wounded, may be still armed, may have something that could harm him, it is his responsibility to render that threat no more”.

“You make sure the wounded man is no longer wounded, he is dead,” Ms Quinlivan said.

At least 12 British soldiers are due to give evidence and at least six members of the PSNI/RUC.

Forensics experts and a pathologist will also be called as well as three people located in and around the area of the deaths at the time.


NYPD Forces Retina Scan on Occupy Wall Street Activists

OWS protest

It remains unclear whether there is compelling state interest in forcing retina scans on peaceful protesters exercising their right to free speech in a public place, but that’s just what the New York Police Department is doing to the Occupy Wall Street activists.

Over 90 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested Saturday afternoon, and some were arraigned yesterday in Manhattan Criminal Court, but not before learning that the cost of their bail would spike exponentially – or that the opportunity to post bail would be denied arbitrarily – if protesters did not submit to retina scans.

Activists and lawyers alike were surprised yesterday to learn that the size of protesters’ bail was being punitively affected by whether defendants were willing to have the distinctive patterns of their irises photographed and logged into a database.

Police and courts have been photographing irises since 2010, once at booking and once on arraignment. The practice is a response to a couple of instances in which mistaken identity allowed someone facing serious charges to go free by impersonating another defendant up on minor charges.

Collecting retina scans is controversial. “The larger [the database] becomes, the greater the chance is of a fortuitous ‘hit’, false conviction, and unnecessary stress on individuals and resource deployment by the police,” says Professor Allan Jamieson. Also, most police departments do not yet have a reliable systems for preventing evidence tampering and/or contamination of evidence, particularly that of the non-biometrics variety. The OJ Simpson murder case, wherein LA policeman Mark Furhman was shown to be a racist who likely planted biometric evidence in OJ’s Bronco and at the murder scene to frame the defendant, illustrates the root problem with using biometrics to fix a problem that only requires honest police work.

There is also the matter of cost and accuracy. Despite alleged low false positive/negative rates, the technology is extremely expensive given the nation’s economy weighed against any benefit gained by using biometric scanning on the average citizen, namely someone not a rogue Interpol agent or international terrorist. Further, accuracy can be compromised by disease. As disease rates increase in our population, particulary cancers and eye diseases, the accuracy of biometrics will continue to decrease.

Finally, there is confusion about whether police initiated biometrics are mandatory or merely voluntary. A Manhattan defense lawyer in court at the time of the Occupy arrests told Judge Abraham Clott she was under the impression that her client facing charges of marijuana possession was not legally bound to submit to an iris photograph. Clott responded in no uncertain terms: Iris photographs may be optional in the sense that the court can proceed without them if it has to, he said, for example if the photographic equipment breaks down. But they are not optional for defendants.

Controversy surrounding whether retina scanning is legal may stem from the fact that a private organization, National Lawyers Guild, through its NYC President Gideon Oliver, issues a memo to its member judges instructing them that iris photographs are mandatory. This mandate has not been publicly issued by the Federal government or by states.

But whether retina scans are mandatory begs the question of its usage in setting bail. In most states, and New York is no exception, bail can only legally be set for a single purpose: to ensure that defendants appear at their next hearing.

Several Occupy protesters saw their refusal invoked as a justification for bail, but posted the money and were released. But Oliver said he has another client who’s refusing to submit to an iris photograph, and that, police are refusing to produce him in court for arraignment until he does

WITH THANKS : Desiree Washington, PopDecay, SCOTT.NET




Sunday, 1 April 2012
    11:30 until 13:00

POSTED ON BEHALF OF : Public event · By Mihall O’Cuinn.

Charity Boxing Nite in Aid of Seán Mac Diaramada Society, Ardoyne

Charity Boxing Nite in Aid of Seán Mac Diaramada Society, Ardoyne

Friday, 30 March 2012
    20:00 until 23:00
    Shamrock Sports and Social Club, Ardoyne Avenue
  •   Great night of boxing and entertainment, in aid of the Seán Mac Diarmada 1916 Republican Society, Ardoyne. Amazing prizes on offer, with the cream of local boxing talent facing off against each other, plus guest appearances form boxers from around the country, plus disco. Everyone welcome, support your local 1916 Society. Go raibh mhaith agaibh

POSTED ON BEHALF OF : Public event · By Dee Fennell




“A Spartan is in trouble and needs our help – what they inflict on one of us they inflict on us all “
Quote from Joe Bell in his impressive letter to the Irish News calling for support for Marian Price.

 POSTED ON BEHALF OF :  Mandí Uí Dubhthaigh
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Israel to receive 6th nuclear-capable submarine from Germany

© Reuters
An Israeli Dolphin-class submarine docs

Self-proclaimed Jewish state signs agreement with Germany for sixth Dolphin-class submarine, capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak signed an agreement with Germany on Wednesday to supply Israel with a sixth Dolphin-class submarine.

Radio Israel said the submarines were capable of carrying cruise missiles equipped with nuclear warheads.

The Israeli army boasts three German-built Dolphin-class subs, two of which were bought in 1991, and will receive another two as part of a 2006 purchase agreement. When exactly the sixth Dolphin will be delivered remains unknown.

The two submarines scheduled to arrive soon are believed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the ranges of which reach 4,500 kilometres. Some believe the vessels could be used in a possible future war against Iran.

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere confirmed the deal on Tuesday after a meeting with Barak, stressing that Germany would contribute to the cost of the submarine.

“We are committed to this [sale] and find it proper,” de Maiziere was quoted as saying by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).

The JTA quoted Barak as saying that the deal “reflects the depth of Israel and Germany’s relationship, as well as the German government’s clear commitment to the state of Israel‘s security.”


Palestinian prisoner Hana Shalabi ‘close to death’

A poster depicting Palestinian prisoner Hana Shalabi Ms Shalabi is experiencing muscle wastage and excruciating pain, medical rights activists say
A Palestinian woman detained by Israel who has been on hunger strike for the past month is at “immediate risk of death”, a medical rights group says.

Hana Shalabi, 30, needs to be transferred to hospital immediately, according to the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)-Israel group.

Ms Shalabi is protesting against being held without charge under a system called “administrative detention.”

Israel uses the measure against those it deems a security risk.

Ms Shalabi has lost 14kg (31lbs), her muscles are wasting and she is in excruciating pain, Ran Cohen of PHR-Israel told the Associated Press news agency.

PHR-Israel says it and other human rights groups “share fears regarding the adequacy and timeliness of the medical care available [to Ms Shalabi], especially given the growing concern about her rapidly deteriorating condition”.

For the time being, Ms Shalabi is being monitored at a prison clinic, an Israel Prison Service spokesperson told AP.

Ms Shalabi is reportedly a supporter of the militant group Islamic Jihad, which Israel has designated a terrorist organisation.

Palestinian protesters hold pictures of Hana Shalabi during a sit-in outside the Red Cross offices in Ramallah on February 28 Ms Shalabi’s hunger strike has won considerable sympathy amongst Palestinians

Ms Shalabi was one of the Palestinian prisoners freed from Israeli jails as part of the deal to free kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit deal last October, but was detained again in February.

Prison authorities say 20 other Palestinian detainees have launched hunger strikes in support of Ms Shalabi in the past two weeks, AP reports.

Last month another Palestinian prisoner, Khader Adnan, ended a 66-day hunger strike after reaching a deal with the Israeli authorities that will see him released in April.

Mr Adnan, who is widely believed to be a leader of Islamic Jihad, is also being held under “administrative detention”.