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Forum Home > General Discussion > Original letter from Jimmy Brown in 1983 regards the supergrass system

iplofallen
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May 6, 2012 at 1:26 PM Flag Quote & Reply

iplofallen
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Posts: 110

OPEN LETTER FRON JIMMY BROWN - CURRENTLY ON REMANDIN CRUMLIN-

RD. PRISON BELFAST, ON THE EVIDENCE OF"SUPERGRASS" HARRY KIRKPATRICK.

MON. 29/8/83

Comrades,

I am taking the opportunity to write to you to givecertain information about

the RUC's use of "Supergrasses" in the non-jury Diplock Court system here. Atpresent

I am one of over 200 people currently being held in custody on Remand on the ~

evidence of a "Supergrass". Already over 50 people herehave been convicted and imprisoned on the uncorroborated evidence of these Supergrasses. In each case this

evidence was heard by a judge sitting alone without the benefit of a jury to assess

the evidence presented. That such evidencealone should be accepted to convict anyone

is beyond the belief of most people. However, the methods by which suchevidence is

obtained is even moreincredible. During the last two years, the RUC have been using sophisticated, illegal methods, offering inducements,bribes and a wide range of "deals"in return for statements made

against people named by the RUC. A suspect following his or her arrest is takento

Castlereagh Interrogation Centre where they are held in clinical isolation forany-

~thing up to 7 days. During this time the suspect is repeatedly threatened that they

will be charged with an offence unless they co-operate with the RUC. During this time

the person is offered inducements to make statements against people the RUCname.

ON 3 OCCASIONS I WAS OFFERED £80,000PLUS, IF I WOULD mAKE A NUMBER OF INCRIMINATING

STATEMENTS AGAINST PEOPLE, SOMEOF WHON ARE unknown  TO ME.THE RUC THEN TOLD ME THAT

THEY COULD 'LEAK IT! THAT I wAS APOLICE Informer, STATING; That THEY COULD HAVE ME

SHOT.  The treatment which I experiencedwas not unique and has been used against many

people. As a result the RUC - have produced: a __ number of what they call "Converted

Terrorists", commonly known in the, media 'as "Supergrasses" The truth of the matter is

that these people are "converted" by the use of fear, the offer of large sums of money,

immunity from prosecution and in some cases a massive reduction in any sentence.

Undernormal police methods a person in custody is invited to make a statement

after caution. The taking of all statements must be in accordance with TheJudges Rules

ensuring--that thestatement is made voluntarily - of the personsown free will. Statements made following such inducements, the premise of favors or rewards, are not

normally admissible as evidence before the courts and cannot be regarded asbeing voluntary - or so the law states. However, in the North ofIreland, the RUC, who already

have greatly increased powersunder emergency legislation, use inducements, bribesand

threats in order to obtain statements asevidence. The offer of immunity fromprosecution

large sums of money and a new life in return for evidence must surelymake that evidence

suspect. Here, however, the RUC have used suchevidence before the court. It mustbe

remembered that no jury sits in the court here. It is simply ONE judge. In a recent case

of a former "supergraaa" Clifford McKemm9 who had been given immunity for- his part in

a murder,retracted his evidence claiming it had been false. Following his retractions

McKeown stated to the local pressthat during his time with the RUC they hadassured

him that he would get the immunity promised as "A DECISION TO ACCEPT "SUPERGRASS"

EVIDENCE HAD BEEN TAKEN AT AMEETING REPRESENTING THE RUC, SENIOR GOVERNMENTOFFICIALS

AND THE JUDIOARY". when McKeown did withdraw his evidence he was allowedto go free.

There have been a number of other such cases - Jackie Goodman and Sean Mallon.

However, more notable and more recent is the caseof Thomas McCrystal. This man,

currently serving a Life sentence for murder in the MazePrison, was taken from the

prison to the InterrogationCentre at Castlereagh. Following his ordeal Mr. McCrystal

made a detailed statement to hissolicitor and the local press (The Irish News). He

stated that, the RUCplaced a number of names in front of him and asked him to make

incriminatory statements about them. Inreturn the RUC promised him "An early release,

a new life and a comfortable standard of living forhimself and his children in England

or Wales" The power of the RUC now extends over the duration of sentence ~ person

may serve. If this seems unlikely consider the statement made by Clif.ford Mc~eo"1Q.

Anotherfactor which appears to support Mr. McKeown's statement is the way in

which evidence from these "Supergrassesll is accepted in the courts here. Early this

month, Judge Kelly, sitting alone withoutthe assistance of a jury, heard evidence

against 35 men and women in the "Christopher Black Trial1f• The sole evidence against

21 ofthe defendants was the uncorroboratedevidence of this man. They were convicted of anumber of offences and some sentenced to life in prison. Nowhere in England

would such a travesty of justice occur.The repercussions of one judge, sittingalone

hearing the solicited ,and uncorroborated evidence ofone man whose motives, by virtue

                       

this judge is willing to accept this evidence. whY? The fact that Black had perjured

himself, before this very same judge in an earlier trial,went un-noted when raised

by the defense _ _ __

RUC andmedia claims that these supergrasses are "converted terrorists! do not

stand up to scrutiny. In the case of John Bennett, whose evidence convicted16 people without independent corroboration, his conversion occurred when hewas arrested for

his part in the murder of an elderly postmistress. It was only when he was offered

immunity that he became "converted' How does this compare with the JudgesRules

In the case of Chris Black, he was arrested for involvement in an illegalroadblock

and became "converted" when offered. immunity in return for evidence which led to 35

people being convicted Was this a willing conversion?

Those of uscurrently held on such evidence believe that the British Government under Thatcher has given the RUC a free hand and that the Judiciary here are

willing participants in this conspiracy. It is interesting to note that methods perfected here in the past have eventually been used in England. It is not surprising the

I learn of a case in Birminghamwhere a 38 year old man, Harry Treadway, was sentenced

to 15 years' in jail following what he alleges was torture. In this case his own statement of admission wassupported by a statement from "an Informer" ~ Whilst there

appears: to be evidence to support torture claims? Mr. Treadway wasstill convicted.

In the case of the Christopher Black trial there was NO evidence against many of their save that of Bl.ack , and it was heard by one judge sitting alone. It is abundantly

clear from this that either two systems of1m" operate in the two counties or that

the Judiciary and the RUC here are free to operate without having to answer to the

normal processes of Law e.

I would ask those of you who _read this, not to treatit as Republican

propaganda Everything I have said can be verified. Nothing would please me more that.

that you should seek to verify it, for in doing that you will have taken the first

step towards uncovering this conspiracy for yourselves. I trustyou will find what I

have to say interesting and provide me _with the courtesy of an early reply. As one who

makes no secret of my opposition toEnglish interference in Irishaffairs, I believe

that one Nation that enslaves another can never itself be free. For those of you in

England that are concerned about what goes on in your name in Ireland, this is an

issue you cannot ignore. .To do this is-to turn your back and say you cannot  see.

Yours in Solidarity,

Jimmy Brown

. Reply to James Gerard Brown 11343 9 A Wing Remand, HM Prison,Crumlin Rd. Belfast.

 

 


May 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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