- MASKED men removed CCTV footage from the scene of the paramilitary-style shooting which led to Sean Kelly‘s arrest. The detention of the Shankill bomber – who was released unconditionally yesterday – sparked a public row between the first and deputy first ministers and angry criticism of police by Sinn Fein.
Mr Robinson clamed the 39-year-old’s arrest raised ” potentially grave consequences ” for the political process – a claim Mr McGuinness said was ” frankly ridiculous “. Sinn Fein claimed Kelly was released within an hour of detectives being granted a 24-hour extension and described the episode as ” an example of shoddy policing “. UUP justice spokesman Tom Elliott questioned why police initially described the sh.yooting as paramilitary-style, only to say it was not paramilitry-related and then revert to the original position. The mother of 18-year-old victim Padraig McAleenan said yesterday he had been in the operating theatre for 10 hours and called for those responsible to be ” locked up and put down “. However, it has emerged that security footage from Flax Centre in Ardoyne, close to where the teenager was shot three times, has been removed. The Irish News understands that as staff arrived for work yesterday morning, two masked men entered the complex, locked them in an office and took the material away. Police confirmed that they were ” aware of an incident ” and were investigating the circumstances. Staff were locked in an office and warned not to make statements to police. It is not known if detectives had gathered forensic evidence or security footage prior to the removeal of the mmaterial. Padraig McAleen, known as ‘Doot ‘, was shot three times at the entrance to the centre at around 8.30pm on Tuesday. From the OOld park area of North Belfast, he spent 10 hours in the operating theatre of the Royal Victoria Hospital after one of the bullets passed through his bladder. With a lengthy criminal record for theft, assault and riotous behaviour, has received death threats from dissident republicans in the pa past. More recently his name was linked to an attempted armed robbery at the Flax shooping complex. His mother Margaret McAleenan said yesterday that his pelvis has been damaged and he is likely to remain in hospital for some time. She denied accuastions that her son was involved in the distribution of drugs but confirmed he was recently released from prison after serving a jail term for rioting. Police said yesterday that the investigation into the ” suspected paramilitary ” shooting was still ongoing. North Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly last night strongly criticised the arrest, described it as ” an example of shoddy policing “. ” At no time during any of the interveiws was any evidnce either forensic, eyewitness statements, anything, put before Sean Kelly to explain why he was arrested,” he claimed. ” In fact when the PSNI went to court to seek an extension of his arrest they admitted that there was no evidence whatsoever against him. ” Within an hour after getting a 24 hour extension from the court, and without further questioning, Sean Kelly was released unconditionally.” Gerry Kelly said the PSNI Serious Crime Branch has ” qquestions to answer in arresting a high-profile republican who has always supported the peace process “.
- WITH MANY THANKS TO : ALLISON MORRIS, IRISH NEWS
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- Robinson call on teenager shooting (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
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