Folow us on social media

Sign up to our mailing list

Cops probed after local man cleared

CLEARED: Gerry Foster, left, with James McElkerney at Oranmore Street where the incident took place CLEARED: Gerry Foster, left, with James McElkerney at Oranmore Street where the incident took place
By Michael Jackson

A JUDGE has ordered an investigation into affidavits given by three PSNI Officers, who wrongly accused a West Belfast republican of hitting an officer with a car.

Divis man James McElkerney was stopped and questioned by police in Oranmore Street in April, as part of what the Irish Republican Socialist Party describe as a “coordinated campaign of harassment” against its members.

Officers stopped Mr McElkerney after accusing him of giving the fingers to a police vehicle while driving dangerously.

Sworn affidavits given by three police constables claim that Mr McElkerney had subsequently driven his vehicle towards one officer, striking him with an open car door.

In his affidavit, one constable claims that his colleague had been hit in the legs “with some force”.
Mr McElkerney appeared in court in Belfast on Friday facing charges relating to the incident, but was acquitted after his defence team produced CCTV footage, taken from a home in Oranmore Street, which clearly contradicted the police account.

The judge directed that the three officers themselves be investigated for “committing themselves” in court.

Speaking after his acquittal, Mr McElkerney accused the PSNI of political policing.

“These officers told blatant lies about me, in what was a deliberate attempt to punish me for my membership of the IRSP and my political activism, and in an attempt to disrupt my personal and family life as a result,” he said.

“I will not be deterred by such people, and I would like to thank the citizen who came to my aid and made footage available to prove my innocence in court.”

Speaking on behalf of the IRSP, Gerard Foster said: “This incident demonstrates as fact what the IRSP have been stating since the so-called Fresh Start Agreement, that the PSNI have been directed to target and punish members of the IRSP on sight and in planned operations, using a combined strategy of half truths, subterfuge and, in this case, downright lies”.

He continued: “It is now clear that nothing that the PSNI has said in the past or in the future about our movement can be believed. They are utterly discredited.

“Once again we call on all progressive and nationally minded parties to withdraw support from this untrustworthy force”.

PSNI Superintendent Lorraine Dobson said: “Police are currently liaising with the Public Prosecution Service regarding this matter so it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Please follow and like us: