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Sinn Fein Leader Adams Released After 5 Days

  • VOA News

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams holds a news conference following his release from police detention, in Belfast, May 4, 2014.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams holds a news conference following his release from police detention, in Belfast, May 4, 2014.

Northern Ireland police have freed Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, after questioning him for five days about the 1972 execution of a widowed mother of 10 suspected of being a spy for the British army during the country's decades of political and religious violence.

Police on Sunday said they will send a report to the Northern Ireland prosecutor's office, which will decide whether to charge Adams in the killing of Jean McConville.

Addressing reporters and supporters at a Belfast hotel, Adams again insisted he is "innocent of any involvement in any conspiracy to abduct, kill or bury Mrs. McConville."

Adams was a key figure in the 1998 peace settlement after 30 years of killings in Northern Ireland between Irish Catholic nationalists and mostly Protestant pro-British loyalists seeking to keep Northern Ireland as part of Britain.

Over the years, former Irish Republican Army fighters have accused Adams, a member of the Irish parliament, of involvement in the campaign of killings during the sectarian clashes.

McConville was abducted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army from her Belfast home and shot to death. Her body was secretly buried and found decades later on a beach in the Republic of Ireland.

Historians and witnesses say Adams served as an IRA commander for decades during the conflict. Adams has always denied holding any position in the outlawed group, despite accusations from an IRA veteran who said McConville was killed on Adams' orders.

The Associated Press reported that Adams’ departure from the police's main interrogation center in Antrim, west of Belfast, was delayed by two hours by a crowd of angry Protestants outside the front gate.

Reuters reported that 50 protesters were outside the police station.

Dozens of officers - many sporting full riot gear with flame-retardant boiler suits, body armor, helmets and shields - confronted the hardline Protestants, as they tried to block Adams' exit by sitting down in the roadway.

After a 15-minute standoff, police escorted Adams out via a rear exit that the protesters could not see.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP.
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