Fred Holroyd: ex-intelligence officer who says he was forced to leave the British army when he raised concern about a shoot-to-kill policy.

Fred Holroyd: Ex-surgeon backs ‘false mental illness’ case

A former military surgeon is backing legal action by an ex-intelligence officer who says he was forced to leave the Army because he raised concerns about an alleged shoot-to-kill policy.

Fred Holroyd said he was falsely diagnosed with a psychiatric illness for political reasons.

These allegations have now been backed by Dr Hugh Thomas, who was working in a hospital where Mr Holroyd was admitted.

The Ministry of Defence is expected to robustly contest the claim.

Fred Holroyd, is suing the Ministary of Defence (MoD).

Mr Holroyd, a former Army captain who served in County Armagh in the 1970s, is suing the Ministry of Defence.

Who is Fred Holroyd?
He has said he was unlawfully detained in the military wing of Musgrave Park Hospital in south Belfast and an Army hospital near Southampton in May 1975.

“I have evidence, through the recent disclosure of my British Army medical file, of a tortuous malicious conspiracy to unlawfully detain me in a military psychiatric institution and to force me to resign from the British Army,” he said.

He has said he was targeted because he made allegations about collusion between Army units and loyalist and republican paramilitaries, and alleged some soldiers were operating a shoot-to-kill policy.

Former Military Surgeon Dr Hugh Thomas will give evidence in the case

Dr Thomas, a major with the Royal Army Corp who was based at Musgrave Park, said he believes the Army ordered doctors to diagnose a mental health condition.

“I think it (the Army) had made its mind up to have a diagnosis that they wanted,” he told the BBC.

He remembered the day Mr Holroyd was admitted because a consultant with no psychiatric qualifications complained that he had been ordered to diagnose a psychiatric condition.

“The first I knew about it was when a senior physician colleague of mine came into the theatre and sought sanctuary, and he sought sanctuary because he had been ordered to section Fred, and had found that an abhorrent request, which it was,” he said.

The retired consultant believes military law and medical ethics were breached and he said he was willing to go to court to give evidence on Mr Holroyd’s behalf.

“It was an appalling thing to ask someone to section someone for a political reason, and I believe this was a political reason,” he said.

Captain Fred Holroyd, pictured in 1974 ‘I was in the way’ Mr Holroyd resigned from the Army in 1976.

He has claimed on many occasions that he was victim of an internal war between elements of the British intelligence services.

Lawyers representing Mr Holroyd in his writ against the MoD say his claims are supported by military medical records released in 2016, which state he “presented without any material psychiatric symptoms and remained entirely rational at all times”.

When asked why be believed the military authorities would act in the way he has alleged, he said they wanted to get rid of him.

“To keep me quiet about my complaints about what had been going on in Ireland,” he added.

“I was in the way and I think the policy was eased in over me and I had to be got rid of.”

Mr Holroyd is claiming damages from the MoD for unlawful detention, and is also seeking compensation for loss of pay and military pension.

His lawyers claim that no one with any qualifications in psychiatry assessed his mental condition.

‘Inappropriate to comment’
“I have always said that there was nothing wrong with me and that I was not mentally ill,” Mr Holroyd told the BBC.

He is also seeking an apology.

“All I’ve ever said is just say ‘we made a mistake, we’re sorry, and what can we do to make it right’. They’ve never said that.”

In a statement the MoD said that “as legal proceedings are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage”.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the origional story.

DUP states: “Stormont unlikely to return soon” – DUP

“I wonder why? Are the DUP and the Conservitive government in bed with each other??

There is a “lot of distrust” between the DUP and Sinn Féin, said Nigel Dodds
It is “highly unlikely” that power sharing will be restored soon in Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party’s Nigel Dodds has said.

A budget for the region must be set within two weeks to keep public services running, he added.

Northern Ireland’s devolved executive collapsed in January last year after a bitter row between the governing parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin.

The latest talks aimed at resolving the crisis ended in failure this month.

Stormont deadlock: Need to know guide
Disputed Stormont ‘deal’ pages leaked
Speaking on ITV’s Peston programme on Sunday, Mr Dodds said he “confidently” expected that UK government ministers would soon take decisions on public spending in Northern Ireland.

“It’s unfortunate the talks have come to an end – we now need decisions taken on spending and on budgets,” said Mr Dodds.

Nigel Dodds “Confidently” expects that UK ministers will soon take budget decisions for the North of Ireland.

“There needs to be a budget within the next fortnight and there need to be decisions taken in order to spend that money.

“The budget can be set at Westminster and clearly Parliament can authorise ministers to take whatever decisions are necessary for the good governance of the province.

“That’s clearly what should happen and I confidently expect that it will happen.”

This week, the Northern Ireland secretary committed to providing clarity on the budget for public services but declined to immediately impose direct rule from Westminster.

‘Bad blood’
The DUP and Sinn Féin blamed each other for the breakdown of the latest negotiations to end the deadlock, saying there was disagreement over legislation for the Irish language.

Sinn Féin has demanded agreement on an act that would give official status to the language, but the DUP has said it will not entertain such a measure.

Direct rule for the North of Ireland “isn’t acceptable” to Sinn Féin, said Michelle O’Neill

The parties still disagree on whether or not a draft agreement was on the table before the talks broke down.

It is “difficult to say” when talks to restore the Northern Ireland Executive could resume, added Mr Dodds.

“There’s a lot of distrust, there’s a lot of bad blood.

“We need a reaching-out process – we need Sinn Féin to get back to situation where they’re actually wanting to work with unionists.”

Sinn Féin’s vice-president Michelle O’Neill reiterated her party’s view that direct rule “isn’t acceptable”.

Speaking in Belfast on Sunday at a march for survivors and relatives of those killed by loyalists and the security forces, she said the DUP “walked out on the talks”.

“They’re not interested, it appears, to want to get the institutions up and running.”

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the origional story.

Belfast International Airport role in DUP event ‘raises questions’ over its impartiality!!

Belfast International Airport said it engages with political parties that organise events that benifit it.

Sinn Féin has criticised Belfast International Airport over its involvement in a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) event in County Antrim.

Its chairperson Declan Kearney said the airport needed to clarify its role in the DUP’s annual North Antrim constituency dinner in Ballymena.

At the event on Friday, DUP MP Ian Paisley interviewed former Conservative minister Priti Patel about Brexit.

The airport said it is campaigning for the removal of air passenger duty (APD) on its flights.

A spokesman for Belfast International Airport said it supports “all our political parties where it is clear the events they organise or are a part of are to the benefit of the airport”.

In a letter to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, a public relations firm said the airport was “sponsoring the dinner”.

The correspondence said the council’s participation “would add a significant dimension” to the evening, which would partly assess “the potential” of Brexit for business.

The airport’s sponsorship would raise questions about its support for the DUP, said Declan Kearney.

It did not state the event was a DUP dinner, but mentioned that Mr Paisley would “interview” Ms Patel.

Tables for 10 people cost £1,500.

The DUP MLA Paul Frew tweeted about the event, saying there had been “great support” at it, while MP Sammy Wilson said it was “great” to have “strong ally” Ms Patel in attendance.

‘Partisan relationship perception’

Mr Kearney said a “huge issue of public interest” had arisen from what appeared to be “financial sponsorship by the airport for this DUP gala dinner”.

Report

“The airport has enjoyed the political backing in the past from the [Northern Ireland] Executive,” he said.

The airport’s involvement in he event would mean “perceptions will arise about having a partisan relationship” with the DUP, he added, saying that he would write to the company that owns it.

“I intend to ask the owners of the airport whether they consider that it is tenable for one of their subsidiaries to be financially sponsoring activities of one political party.”

Mr Kearney acknowledged that he had met the management of the airport “in the past”.

Report

A DUP spokesman said: “All income and expenditure arising from the event will be handled in accordance with our rules and regulatory obligations.”

The airport’s spokesman said it is privately owned and does not receive government subsidies.

He also said it is campaigning for the removal of air passenger duty (APD) – a tax on the majority of flights from Northern Ireland – and “that means engaging with senior government figures to get our points across”.

“We will continue with our efforts to remove APD and to engage with all politicians from whatever party to achieve that objective,” added the spokesman.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the origional story.

Brigadier Kerr must be questioned over secret British army unit in the North of Ireland say victims

Sinn Féin’s John Finucane

Victims have called on police to quiz the army officer who commanded a secret military intelligence unit during the Troubles.

Scottish Brigadier Gordon Kerr (70) ran the Force Research Unit (FRU), whose officers handled top level paramilitary informers during the Troubles and has been dubbed the mastermind of ‘Ulster’s Dirty War’.

Last Tuesday, the unit’s top agent in the IRA, Freddie Scappaticci, codenamed Stakeknife, is believed to have been arrested and questioned in connection to dozens of murders as part of Operation Kenova, which is being headed up by Bedfordshire Police. On Friday, chief constable Jon Boutcher confirmed that a 72-year-old man who was released on bail will “return to police custody” in the near future.

“This arrest was a significant step in what continues to be an incredibly complex and wide-ranging investigation,” he added.

Sinn Fein’s John Finucane (37), whose solicitor father Pat was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries in collusion with State forces in 1989, has demanded “greater scrutiny” of Kerr’s role at the time of his father’s death.

“Given the unit Kerr ran has led to the deaths of so many people, we have always found it strange that there hasn’t been any scrutiny of what Kerr was doing,” he told the Glasgow Herald.

“Gordon Kerr is very much at the centre of the actions of the FRU… Kerr’s role in all of this needs to be examined.”

Mr Finucane said if allegations that “Scappaticci was killing people at the behest of those in charge” prove to be true, then “the question is no longer who pulled the trigger, it’s who pulled the strings”?

“We may not necessarily get justice, but we want the truth,” he added.

Mark Thompson of Relatives for Justice also called for Kerr to face tough questions in order to expose the “murky backdrop” in which the state “effectively decided who lived and died.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the origional story.

Reflecting on 2017 – The Hooded Men

The year started off on a positive note. In February we finally had the juridical review hearing regarding the Chief Constable’s decision to end inquiries into British Government sanctioned torture of 14 men during internment in 1971.

It was held at Belfast High Court.

The four-day hearing saw all our key barristers over for it, Hugh Southey QC, Blinne Ni Ghrálaigh of Matrix Chambers and Adam Straw of Doughty Street instructed by Darragh Mackin of Belfast firm KRW Law.

We were told to expect the judge to call us back to court in May for the judgement.

Sadly eight months after the initial hearing I had to write to the Lord Chief justice in September expressing our concern regarding the delay in delivery of the judgement and requesting the judgement be delivered as soon as possible.

On the 27th of October, we attended court to hear the reading of the judgement. In his ruling, Mr Justice Maguire said, “It seems likely to the court that if the events here at issue were to be replicated today the outcome would probably be that the European Court of Human Rights would accept the description of torture in respect of these events.”

He added, “The decision, in effect, to end the inquiry at the point when it was made was seriously flawed and was inconsistent with the broad approach which the Chief Constable had adopted.”

The overall judgement was favourable, but it fell short of granting a public inquiry. A suggestion that the barristers for the crown request the PSNI consider investigating the case was dismissed immediately by all of us.

We were back in court in December requesting the case is elevated to the Supreme Court in London.

Earlier in the year, the DUP did a backroom deal with the British government to retain the current Conservative administration in power, it is said one of their conditions was not to seek prosecution for soldiers or policemen in historical cases.

little Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP said it was “sickening and unbalanced and unfair” that Lord Carrington (who by the way Jeffery authorised the torture) was under judicial scrutiny and added the ‘Hooded Men’ torture case ‘could harm any future Northern Ireland power-sharing deal.

He went on to say “IRA members are walking around demanding all this scrutiny on the state without any investigation into their actions,”

Jeffery really should understand that none of the hooded men or their team has any convictions for membership of a proscribed organisation or convicted of any offence relating to what became known as “The Troubles”.

Jeffery failed to comment on the documented fact that RUC Special Branch officers were taught the methods by British soldiers but sought assurances of immunity from prosecution before carrying them out.

Regarding the historical record of the case, filming has continued throughout the year. The film crew have been covering a number of events and have almost completed all the personal interviews.

We have been involved in another BBC television documentary which looks at the long-term effects of torture. Interviews for this took place in Lurgan, Belfast and Armagh during late summer.

Dublin author Ray Bateson continues to write our story and hopes the book will be published next year.

Sales of the newly revisited book “The Hooded men 2016” continue to rise with worldwide sales increasing and we are currently in talks regarding publishing it in a number of other languages.

We have continued to highlight the case throughout 2017 and we are pleased to see an increase in international interest.

We also had another invitation to speak at Queen’s University in Belfast this year.

As 2018 nears, our hopes and aspirations are for a conclusion to the case and the British government found guilty of torture.

2018 will see us back in the High court in Belfast and then onto the Supreme court in London.

Our barristers tell us the case is a major talking point in the corridors of the European courts and we should see the case go before the European courts in the coming year.

As I have said many times, I cannot stress enough the importance of your support, our barristers have said they have never seen a case gain so much support from the public.

So to each and every one of you, thank you from the hooded men and the team.

With many thanks to: Aidan Docherty – Meet The Hooded Men

Jim McIlmurray
Case coordinator.

‘No 10 knew’ of Damian Green claims in 2016, before he was promoted to First Secretary of State

Kate Maltby, who claims Damian Green made inappropiate advances to her,

http://http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/embed/p05rrr1c/42449683Kate Maltby on “highly sexualised” Westminster environment

Kate Maltby, who claims Damian Green made inappropriate advances to her, says she told a senior Downing Street aide about his behaviour in 2016.

The MP, who denies the claims, was sacked from the cabinet on Wednesday.

This came after an inquiry found he had broken the ministerial code over “misleading” statements after pornography was found on his computer.

Prime Minister Theresa May pictured here with Damian Green on her left.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was not aware of the claims about Mr Green until last month.

Allegations ‘completely false’ – Green
Theresa May ‘had to sack Damian Green’
Did a police vendetta topple Damian Green?
Speaking on a visit to Cyprus, she said she had first read about them in an article by Ms Maltby in the Times newspaper.

She said: “I recognise that Kate Maltby was obviously extremely distressed by what happened. Damian Green has recognised that and he has apologised. I think that is absolutely the right thing to do.”

She has said it is important that people working in Parliament feel they can bring forward any concerns they have to be “treated seriously”.

The Cabinet Office investigation into Mr Green was prompted by her allegations that Mr Green had “fleetingly” touched her knee in a pub in 2015, and in 2016 sent her a “suggestive” text message.

The inquiry was later widened to include the claims about legal pornography being discovered on his computer after a police raid on his Commons office in 2008.

Speaking after the inquiry, which concluded that her evidence was “plausible”, Ms Maltby told the BBC she had not told many people about the alleged incident at the time – except her parents – as she “wondered if it was a one-off”.

“Eventually I spoke to a very senior and long-serving aide of Theresa May,” she added.

When giving evidence to the inquiry, she told its head, Sue Gray, that Downing Street was aware of her allegations “to the best of my knowledge”.

“I was aware that he was the deputy prime minister and I was aware that No 10 knew about it.”

Ms Maltby said she had never called for Mr Green’s sacking, but wrote her article because she wanted to change the culture of Downing Street.

“This whole story has been about power,” she said. “Damian Green became a very, very powerful person.

“I was aware that there seemed to be improper mixing of mentorship and sexual advance within the Conservative party in his case.”

Damian Green

Mr Green was sacked after making “misleading” statement about pornography found on his computer
Ms Maltby added: “My actions in this have never been guided by the quest to claim scalps, to force resignations to end people’s careers.

“We need an end to the era in which the sexual exploitation of younger people is the sort of peccadillo of a politician.

“That is tolerated by those in power and perhaps exploited to enforce party discipline but not to actually do any good.”

A Downing Street source told the BBC: “The Cabinet Office conducted a thorough investigation into a number of allegations about Damian Green.

“The PM has made it clear that everyone should be able to work in politics without fear or harassment – that is why she has brought forward a new code of conduct for the Conservative Party, and set up a cross-party working group to make recommendations about the Houses of Parliament.”

Speaking on Thursday, Mrs May reiterated her personal “sadness” at sacking her close ally Mr Green but said it was “absolutely right” that he had apologised to Ms Maltby.

‘Concerns treated seriously’
Although Mr Green was sacked over his statements about the pornography on his computer, he used his resignation letter to also apologise to Ms Maltby, who was a family friend.

“I deeply regret the distress caused to Kate Maltby following her article about me and the reaction to it,” he wrote.

“I do not recognise the events she described in her article, but I clearly made her feel uncomfortable and for this I apologise.”

http://http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/embed/p05ppys9/42449683“I was shocked”: Former detective constable Neil Lewis speaks to the BBC

Meanwhile, former senior police officer Bob Quick and retired detective Neil Lewis, who told the BBC he had been “shocked” by the contents of Mr Green’s office computer, are being investigated for possible breaches of the Data Protection Act.

The Metropolitan Police, who referred the case to the data regulator, said the pair were under investigation over the “apparent disclosure to the media of confidential material gathered during a police investigation in 2008”.

Conservative MPs are angry about the alleged actions of the two retired detectives, with Jeremy Hunt claiming they “did not sit comfortably in a democracy” – something, he added, Theresa May “had made clear” in her letter to Mr Green.

Boris Johnson said the actions of the police “had the slight feeling of a vendetta”, and needed to be investigated further.

With many thanks to: BBC England for the origional story

Chief Constable breaks silence to defend RUC/PSNI stance on Glenanne Gang

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has responded to criticism from the Glenanne Families.

PSNI chief constable
Chief Constable George Hamilton has publicly defending his force against criticism in relation to the policing of the past.

However, he has also made clear he will be appealing a judgment by Mr Justice Treacy in June of this year ordering an independent investigation into the Glenanne Gang killings.

Last week relatives of 120 victims of the loyalist killer gang published an open appeal to the Chief Constable in the Irish News asking him to abide by the court ruling and order an independent investigation.

The killings, which took place in Armagh, Tyrone, Down, Louth and Monaghan between 1972 and 1978, were previously investigated by the now defunct Historical Enquiries Team, however the cold case team was disbanded before the final report was released.

Through the Pat Finucane Centre, the families made an impassioned plea to Mr Hamilton to do the “right thing”.

Northern Ireland’s most senior officer has now publicly responded saying he felt it was important to clarify the situation because of “ongoing risk to public confidence in policing and the need for urgent progress on dealing with the past”.

“I read carefully every word of the open letter published in this paper last week by the Glenanne families”, Mr Hamilton said.

“Within weeks of becoming Chief Constable in 2014, I spoke about this issue, warning that ‘action is needed if policing and, indeed, our peace process is not to be dragged backward.’

“Three years have passed and, despite the efforts of officials working on legislation, nothing has changed. As Chief Constable I am frustrated and concerned. But this cannot compare to the raw hurt and pain that grieving families experience.

“I find myself in an impossible position. The High Court has found that while I have a legal obligation to investigate the circumstances of the Hillcrest bombing and other related cases, my organisation is not sufficiently independent to conduct that investigation”.

Mr Hamilton has said to outsource the investigation to an external police service would be likely to cost in the region of £60 million over five to six year period from an already drastically slashed policing budget.

“There are insufficient detective resources immediately available in the UK to conduct this investigation, even if the financial resources were made available to me,” he added.

The chief constable also pointed to the operation Kenova investigation, headed up by Bedfordshire Police Chief Jon Boutcher, into the activities of the agent known as Stakeknife, saying that probe is currently subject to judicial challenge because it is being funded from the PSNI budget.

“In these circumstances it is in the public interest that clarity is sought from the Court of Appeal as to what the law permits or requires PSNI to do in relation to investigating the past,” he said.

“I have no more desire for prolonged legal wrangling than the families do. It is a damning indictment that in the continuing political vacuum on dealing with the past; witnesses and members of grieving families are passing away without resolution.

“I believe that the right place for any legacy investigation is the Historical Investigations Unit. The failure to make progress on the HIU over the last three years has come at both a financial cost and a cost to confidence in policing. And that cost will continue to increase the longer that the ongoing delay continues”, Mr Hamilton added.

PSNI CHIEF CONSTABLE REFUSES TO ACT ON HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT

BRIAN FEENEY/IRISH NEWS/WED 20 DECEMBER 2017 | 20 December 2017

Leading “Irish News” columnist, Brian Feeney, asks why the most senior police officer in Northern Ireland is defying a court order and refusing to even talk about completing a report on collusion into 120+ murders?

George Hamilton: refusing to act on High Court judgement

There’s a distinctly unpleasant whiff beginning to rise from the PSNI.

Yes, there are various surveys and polls indicating levels of satisfaction that the unlamented, discredited RUC could never have attained but there is growing dissatisfaction with critical aspects of policing and no sign they will be addressed.

People living in mixed districts and some Nationalist districts are deeply unhappy with the failure of the police to deal with loyalist flags and paraphernalia. The police have completely failed to deal with loyalist paramilitaries who still despoil working-class Unionist districts, prey on businesses and prevent investment. The PSNI record on recruiting Catholics has stalled and gone into reverse. There’s more. The reasons and excuses provided are well known but the results never change.

The major aspect which has crystallised dissatisfaction in recent months is failure to deal with the past in ways which obstruct dealing with the past. On December 15,  we had a lengthy self-serving epistle from the chief constable explaining why he is going to appeal a High Court order commanding him and his force ‘to expeditiously honour its enforceable public commitment to provide an overarching report into the Glenanne group of cases’. This to be done independently, expeditiously and with ring-fenced funding.

The reason Mr. Justice Treacy issued such an order is that on July 28 he quashed the PSNI decision to abandon the HET inquiry into the notorious Glenanne-based police/UDR murder gang and ordered an independent investigation. However by November the court found that the PSNI had ignored the court’s instruction; had done precisely nothing. Now the Chief Constable, still having done precisely nothing, is appealing the order to the Court of Appeal with your money. He has no hope of overturning the order but will appeal on esoteric legal grounds. Another year’s delay.

In his letter explaining why he has not complied with the order but is appealing,  the Chief Constable cites cost. He has conjured a figure of £60 million over five years out of misty Hy-Brasil. The Glenanne cases involve the killing of 120 or more people in the 1970s by a gang composed of RUC, UDR, and UVF. Most had dual membership. The HET was tasked with examining 2,555 cases involving 3,260 killings. The North’s Criminal Justice Inspection team found in 2013 that the total cost of the HET was £60 million.

How come the disparity? How could investigating the Glenanne gang cost so much? Their names are well known. All you have to do is pick up Anne Cadwallader’s book, Lethal Allies and you will find the gang’s whole modus operandi, their weapons, their scenes of crime. It’s a textbook for anyone pursuing an inquiry. Cadwallader makes a credible case without being paid £60 million.

Chief Constable George Hamilton asserts in his letter that there are ‘insufficient detective resources’ in the UK for carrying out an independent investigation. Rubbish. Pull the other one. The HET was able to set up and get under way using retired detectives. They successfully completed dozens of cases, few as straightforward as the pre-prepared treasure trove sitting waiting for Glenanne investigators.

The chief constable asserts that the Historical Investigation Unit recommended in the Stormont House Agreement is the body to investigate the Glenanne gang. It isn’t. That’s just kicking the can down the road. Mr. Justice Treacy ordered an independent, ring-fenced body. So the non-existence of the HIU is a red herring.

Mr. Hamilton also takes a swing at ‘the continuing political vacuum’ as a reason for not proceeding. No. Our useless invisible proconsul [James Brokenshire, NI Secretary of State] could allocate targeted funds for the past immediately. Has Hamilton asked him?

Unfortunately the Glenanne case is simply the most egregious example of the PSNI stalling, blocking, redacting, asking for Public Immunity Certificates, losing evidence and so on. Although Hamilton denies it, the inescapable conclusion is that the PSNI is preventing truth emerging but searching for delays and pretexts to protect State interests.

Regardless of motive the result plays to the political position of Unionism, not, altogether now, ‘the political vacuum’. It’s unionists and our proconsul who don’t want appalling conspiracies like the Glenanne RUC/UDR/UVF murder gang investigated. The consistent failure of the PSNI to proceed proactively supports that position. It smells fishy.

ENDS

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