PSNI accused of being ‘vague and clumsy’ as MP hits out at loss of Miami Showband instruments held as evidence since the 1975 massacre.
MP Mickey Brady wrote to the PSNI asking about the whereabouts of the instruments after he was approached by surviving members of the band at a memorial service held on the 40th anniversary of the attack.
Assistant Chief Constable, Will Kerr, responded and in his letter to Mr Brady, he said:”Unfortunately, despite extensive enquiries, we have been unable to locate these items, and do not hold any information regarding their disposal. As a result of asbestos contamination, and bomb attacks on police establishments, a number of items and corresponding records have been lost from our property stores.
“I full appreciate that the survivors and victim’s families have lived with the memories of this attack for many years. I also understand that these personal items hold important sentimental value. I apologise that PSNI have been unable to locate these items.”
Mr Brady says this revelation that the items are lost “is a cause of grave concern”.
He said: “Not only do they hold immense sentimental value for the families and friends of those killed in the attack but surely they are vital pieces of forensic evidence.
“It is of particular concern that such evidence would go missing in a case where loyalist collusion with state forces is not merely suspected but is undeniable.
“The Assistant Chief Constable’s excuse that the instruments have gone missing through ‘asbestos contamination and bomb attacks on police establishments’ sounds vague and flimsy.
“Surely such evidence is tagged and tracked. Surely there is some sort of paper trail. Can the Assistant Chief Constable tell us in which bomb attack was the evidence destroyed? Or where was it being held when it had to be removed due to asbestos?
“Such haphazard handling of evidence could perhaps be passed off as incompetence in any ordinary case but in one where collusion is an undeniable fact it hints at something more sinister.
“Unfortunately, like many of the revelations we have seen surrounding collusion over the years, this latest one raises more questions than answers.
“I am calling on the Assistant Chief Constable to clarify his statements in this letter and provide more information on the last known whereabouts of these instruments.”
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