30 June 2009

Ian Paisley Jr. 'in Contempt of Court'

Ian Paisley Jr (photo) has been found 'in contempt of court' and fined £ 5000 for refusing to reveal a source to an inquiry that investigates the death of the late Billy Wright, a Protestant and Unionist terrorist in the North who was for some time leader of a radical splinter group, the so-called 'Loyalist Volunteer Force' (LVF).

Paisley Jr, who is the MLA for North Antrim (and son of former DUP leader and First Minister of the Northern administration Ian Paisley) was also told that he would have to pay £ 3000 toward the inquiry team's legal costs.

At the Belfast High Court Mr Justice Gillen said he would give Paisley Jr three months "to reconsider and to comply with the requests to reveal his source".

Ian Paisley Jr served from May 2007 to February 2008 as a junior minister in the office of the First Minister & Deputy First Minister in the North, but resigned from this position under a cloud over alleged irregularities.

He has consistently refused to reveal the identity of a prison officer working in the Maze Prison at the time of Wright's death in December 1997, who had told him that over 5000 prison files had been destroyed after the fatal shooting of the terrorist.

In a recent interview Paisley Jr defended his right to withhold the information, as it was given to him confidentially in his capacity as an elected member of the Northern Assembly. He declared that - if necessary - he would "rather go to prison than reveal the identity of the source".

The Emerald Islander

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